Not surprising given his presidential ambitions, Obama used his time to give a lecture on how Iraq was a “disastrous foreign policy mistake” rather than ask pointed questions to Petraeus and Crocker. Obama started by saying that it was inappropriate to hold the hearings today because it perpetuates the idea that we went to war in Iraq because of the Sept. 11 attacks. He complained that things are so bad in Iraq and we’ve moved the bar so low that even a modest level of improvement, with violence still at unnacceptable June 2006 levels, is viewed as a success. His question to Crocker as he ran out of time was at what point would lack of political progress on the part of the Iraqi government lead Crocker to conclude that we need to withdraw troops from Iraq. The only problem was that the question had already been answered, so Biden just had Crocker give a short summary of his response.
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