Martha Raddatz Does Some Straight Talking

…on PBS’ Washington Week last Friday.

MR. HARWOOD: Martha, I talked to a Republican strategist this week who said he sees the table being set for a report in September that suggests that the surge has not been as effective as they had hoped. Republican senators would start getting nervous, not back the administration on continuing the surge, and the White House would turn towards those recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. Is that the scenario you see playing out?
MS. RADDATZ: Well, I think the Iraq Study Group is something that we’ve watched for a couple of months now, too. In fact, White House officials will say listen to what the president is saying, he’s talking about the Iraq Study Group much, much more in public in that, hey, I like this part of that and I like this part of it, and that’s a good recommendation. The thing about the Iraq Study Group is that overall they say you have to follow all the recommendations and I think that’s the bottom line with those. I think –
MR. HARWOOD: But does it signal combat troops coming out?
MS. RADDATZ: I don’t – I think truly that you have to wait and see the conditions on the ground. David Petraeus, who was criticized by Senator Reid as not painting the accurate picture, although Senator Reid himself has been there one time and that was two years ago. Dave Petraeus is going to be in a position he has to give a progress report. Dave Petraeus is highly admired, thought of as a very, very honest person. I mean, certainly he points out some progress there, but it is going to be very, very difficult after this week with the Samarra bombing to show progress.
There was a report this week that violence all over Iraq has grown. In Baghdad it’s slightly better. That’s where they now have 28,500 troops. Of course it’s going to be better, but what has happened so many times in the past, what I have seen so many times there, is you calm one area down and they move to other areas, and that is exactly what’s happening. But I think Petraeus would like the surge to continue. He knows you can’t have success unless you stay there long term.

She’s written a pretty damn fine book, too. If you check out the posted reviews, you will find some from the soldiers of the unit she profiles.

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