News Release

Petraeus and Crocker Testimony

ADAM KOKESH
Co-chair of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Kokesh attended the hearings where Petraeus and Crocker testified today. Kokesh said: “I was escorted out of the hearings after I shouted ‘swear them in, why do you still trust these people?’ … Petraeus is … being forced to draw down the five brigades for which he has no replacement. … He has betrayed us. He’s now a political appointee who has put his career above the truth and above what’s good for the military and for America.”
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ANN WRIGHT
Wright is a former State Department diplomat and retired Army colonel. Among her numerous assignments, she helped re-open the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan in 2001. She resigned from the State Department in protest of the Iraq invasion in March of 2003. She was part of protests on Capitol Hill today during the hearings.
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MAKI AL-NAZZAL
Currently in Amman, Jordan, Al-Nazzal is a freelance Iraqi journalist.
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KATHY KELLY
JEFF LEYS
Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kelly has just returned from working with Iraqi refugees in Amman, Jordan. She said today: “Petraeus talks of a new approach, but it’s dangerously similar to what the U.S. government has been doing. … Part of what’s ignored is a recent UN humanitarian report regarding hunger, malnutrition and water purification in Iraq. Instead of solving these issues, the U.S. government is continuing to focus on using war to solve problems.”

Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Leys said today: “General Petraeus continued to lay the groundwork for U.S. military action against Iran today, with his frequent allegations of Iranian engagement with Shia militias. As President Bush and the military prepare to request an additional $200 billion for the Iraq-Afghanistan war, we must act to ensure that the war is not extended to Iran. We must also act to ensure that the U.S. does not further accelerate the air war that is being waged in Iraq.”
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ERIK LEAVER
PHYLLIS BENNIS
Leaver is a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He said today: “As predicted, Petraeus presented an overly optimistic view of the situation on the ground in Iraq and, along with Amb. Crocker, offered a rosier picture for the future. His recommendations for reducing the military presence to ‘pre-surge’ levels is based on realism — the fact that the U.S. doesn’t have enough troops to sustain the surge — rather than on a calculation that strategically the best option is to set forth clear guidelines for withdrawal. The presentation was a yet-again clear example of crass politics rather than recommendations for a sound policy in moving forward.”

Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis said today: “The presentations by Petraeus and Crocker are largely anecdotal. … Among the concrete steps that could be taken are: Announce a timetable for the immediate, rapid and complete withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops and mercenaries, and simultaneously end U.S. offensive operations. … The U.S. should immediately announce the closure of all U.S. military bases in Iraq. … The U.S. should immediately stop its effort to force Iraq’s parliament to pass an oil law that privileges U.S. and other international oil companies. … [And the U.S. should] provide economic and political support for reconstruction and for maintaining national unity in Iraq. … The U.S. should stop trying to train Iraqi military and police forces, and instead turn over remaining training funds to the United Nations for use after the end of the U.S. occupation.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.