Nation/World

What they said

“At the outset I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by nor shared with anyone in the Pentagon, the White House or the Congress until it was just handed out.”

Gen. David Petraeus

“The surge was intended to provide breathing space – breathing space for the Iraqis to bridge sectarian divides with real political compromises. But while our troops are holding back the opposing team to let them make a touchdown, the Iraqis haven’t even picked up the ball.”

Rep. Ike Skelton

D-Mo.

“General Petraeus is coming back, not just as (a) guy who’s going to give us his take on the Iraq situation, but as the leader of more than 160,000 American personnel in uniform in Iraq. And they’re not only watching his testimony, but they’re also watching our testimony. They’re watching how we treat him. They’re watching this Congress to see if we give credibility to what people in uniform say.”

Rep. Duncan Hunter

R-Calif.

“As long as American troops are doing the heavy lifting in Iraq, there is no reason, none at all, for the Iraqis themselves to step up. Military progress without political progress is meaningless. It is their country, and it is their turn.” Rep. Tom Lantos

D-Calif.

“It is time to change the mission of our troops to one that will promote regional stability and combat terrorism, so that the numbers of our brave men and women in uniform in Iraq can be reduced on a much more aggressive timetable than the one outlined today by General Petraeus.”

House Speaker

Nancy Pelosi

D-Calif.

“As Congress prepares to take our next steps in support of our troops, we are faced with a critical choice. Will we ignore the progress we’ve made and play politics with the security of our nation, or will we finally listen to the generals?”

House Minority Leader

John Boehner

R-Ohio

“Our enemies around the globe gain great advantage by having the United States mired in an Iraqi civil war. Clearly, continuing to pursue the president’s flawed escalation policy until at least July 2008 is not in the national interest of the United States.”

Senate Majority Leader

Harry Reid

D-Nev.

“We have let General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker do this independently and we have not tried to play any role in shaping, in influencing, in dictating, in doing anything with regard to the content of what they do. It’s important that they be able to give their own independent testimony and judgment to the Congress and the United States.”

Tony Snow

White House spokesman



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