Interview With General Petraeus

Interview With General Petraeus
April 11th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Interview With General Petraeus

Interview With General Petraeus
April 10, 2008
NBC Nightly News, 7:00 PM
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now, earlier today in Washington at the brand new Newseum, as itís called, the news media museum that officially opens tomorrow, we sat down for a conversation with the commanding general of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, David Petraeus. He has just finished days of testimony, as you know, and he now has a day or two with his family before going back to Iraq to continue an almost five-year long deployment for him. And these days, the future back in Iraq, he concedes, is far from a sure thing.
Draw me a picture of how this war ends.
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS [Commander, Coalition Forces, Iraq]: Well, what is happening now is, in fact, the drawdown of our forces in a variety of different locations. And I think that is likely how this will end is it will be a thinning out. There will be some form of engagement, Iím sure, for years, and I think we should be realistic about that.
WILLIAMS: Five years ago yesterday, the statue came down, and remember the biggest problem five years ago yesterday was do we put American flag on it, do we take it off, do we help them take it down by pulling a rope from a tank transporter? It was still new territory and yet there was joy in downtown Baghdad. At that every spot where the statue was, itís now under curfew. Is there a simple way to distill it, General? What happened?
PETRAEUS: Well, what happened is that there was a point, of course, where in some communities the coalition forces were no longer seen as liberators and became occupiers. Paradoxically, in some of those areas we have come over the course of last year to be seen as liberators again. We actually re-liberated certain communities Ė in this case, helping them to throw off again al Qaeda Iraq.
WILLIAMS: Are we fighting a proxy war with Iran?
PETRAEUS: We certainly donít want to, and some of this certainly is going to be up to Iran to a degree, but it is Iraqi leaders, I think, who get a considerable voice in this as well. And what we have seen is come out in much starker relief in recent weeks the character of Iranian involvement, the character of the Quds Force involvement in terms of arming and training and funding and directing.
WILLIAMS: General, will you ever hold political office in this country?
PETRAEUS: Never, and Iíve tried to say that on a number of occasions. I have been honored to serve our country in uniform, but I truly have no political ambitions and no intention.
WILLIAMS: Before the war started, in Kuwait I was with an infantry platoon. They were getting last minute instructions from a command sergeant major who said, theyíre going to try to bring you baked goods and maybe flowers from their homes, and itís almost sad to look back and that joy in so many cases, of course, never materialized.
PETRAEUS: But we did see joy. I remember walking into the city of Najaf, which I think was one of the first Ė perhaps the first very large Sunni liberated Ė you know, on the road to Baghdad, if you will Ė
(Cross talk.)
PETRAEUS: Ė after a big fight, and all of a sudden it just turned and I remember walking through there and there was incredible joy, and thereís a picture I still look at with a certain wistfulness frankly with a young Iraqi boy in my arms and a smile on my face, and weíre all much older than that by far more than just the years that have passed.
WILLIAMS: Just part of our conversation today in Washington with the man known in the military as the CG, the commanding general. We have put the entire interview with Gen. Petraeus on our website for you tonight. Thatís

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