Senate Grills Petraeus on Basra

McCain mixes up Sunnis, Shiites again
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 11:42 AM CDT
Gen. David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 8, 2008, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the status of the war in Iraq.    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – The campaign trail ran through a scheduled Senate Armed Service Committee appearance by David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker today, as John McCain and Hillary Clinton helped grill the general and ambassador on Iraq. McCain zeroed in on the the widespread Iraqi defections in Basra last week, saying, “It was a disappointment.” "It was, although it is not over yet, Senator," Petraeus countered.

McCain also attempted to establish al-Qaeda as a continuing threat, saying its members were “certainly not an obscure sect of Shiites…or Sunnis or anybody else.” Clinton attacked Crocker’s bilateral agreement, saying it would “seem odd” if Iraq’s parliament reviewed the bilateral agreement but the US congress didn’t, and complained that Petraeus’ conditions for withdrawal were vague.