As expected, Petraeus sees progress — just like Bush

No need to wait for the official report. Nope. Petraeus already has his talking points down:

The U.S. troop surge in Iraq has thrown al Qaeda off balance and led to a reduction in sectarian violence and bombings, the U.S. commander in Iraq was quoted on Friday by an Australian newspaper as saying.

“We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress and we believe al Qaeda is off balance at the very least,” General David Petraeus told the Australian in an interview after briefing Australia’s defense minister, Brendan Nelson, in Baghdad.

Petraeus and U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker will testify before the U.S. Congress on either September 11 or 12.

Petraeus says the sectarian violence is down, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Ilan Goldberg found some abnormalities when looking at the numbers from the Pentagon on sectarian violence:

I really have no idea why these numbers are so inconsistent, but it does lead me to call into question the violence numbers that are being reported by the Administration, when it touts progress. Clearly certain types of violence have been taken out and others have been added. What we need is some transparency. Congress needs to take a very careful look at the numbers that come before it in September

Congress should take a very careful look at everything anyone from the Bush team says about Iraq.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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