WASHINGTON--McCain, Clinton and Obama all questioned Petraeous and Crocker at Senate hearings on Iraq surge today. Obama--contrary to a prior hearing where he made a speech and had no time left for questions--dropped the lecture for the most part and asked focused questions for most of his 14 minutes. He seemed to suggest the U.S. set a very modest goal for success that would get troop levels down to about 30,000.
Obama wanted to know: in a "parade of horribles" --does the U.S. anticipate a time when Al Queda in Iraq could not reconstitute itself?
Our goal...is not to hunt down every single Al Queda?
"Exactly right," Petraeous said.
"I'm trying to get to an end point," said Obama. If the bar for success is so high, will it ever be met?
Is a "messy, sloppy" status quo possible in Iraq Obama asked
With some violence, some corruption but otherwise not much of a threat an "achieveable goal?"