NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Harrison submits questions for Gen. Patraeus on Iraq

Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held hearings with General Patraeus on progress in Iraq. The Democratic candidates who have endorsed A Responsible Plan have submitted the questions they want Gen. Patraeus to answer. via a Harrison press release;

Responsible Plan Democratic Congressional challengers submit Iraq hearing questions

Steve Harrison (NY-13 Staten Island/Southwest Brooklyn), Darcy Burner (WA-8), Donna Edwards (MD4), Eric Massa (NY-29) and other top tier Congressional challengers

(Washington DC) Democratic Congressional candidate Steve Harrison and a group of other leading Democratic Congressional challengers dubbed the “Responsible Plan Candidates” have compiled a list a questions they would ask if they were already in the House , of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who are testifying this week before congress. These candidates have been given this moniker because for their support of the “Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq” (responsibleplan.com), which calls for Congress to end U.S. military involvement in Iraq, restore government accountability and work toward energy independence.

Harrison is challenging Vito Fossella, New York City’s only Republican House member. Against Fossella in 2006, Harrison received a higher percentage of the vote than any Democrat ever under the Congressional District’s current configuration.

Below are Harrison’s questions.

Questions for Petraeus

1. General do you believe advocating for a withdrawal from Iraq necessarily indicates either a lack of support for our troops, or a lack of patriotism?

2. General, troop withdrawal is a military operation. Given the current conditions in Iraq, in your expert opinion, what would be a reasonable time frame for complete withdrawal assuming the planning started tomorrow?

3.General, Prime Minister Maliki's surprising attack on the Sadr militia last week showed great weakness in the government's ability to provide security as well as weakness in the government's political ability to unite the country. It also showed great lack of judgment in the capabilities of his military. The Iraqi situation shows no signs of near term stability and it does not appear American military presence has facilitated that goal. In the absence of being able to meet that political goal, what other military goals, in your opinion justify American military presence in Iraq?

4. Expanding on the prior question, almost immediately after beginning the attack, the Iraqi troops needed American air support. The Iraqi's seem to have some helicopters and troop transports but no effective fighter aircraft or pilots capable of supplying air cover. The US has been training and equipping Iraqi forces for years now. Can you explain the near total absence of an effective Iraqi air wing?

5. General, the New York Times reports that the long and repeated troop tours in Iraq are having great effect on the mental health of our troops. One in four is considered to be severely depressed or anxious. Please explain how this affects troop effectiveness, explain the solution and explain what the defense department is planning to help those troops who are suffering so severely because of the excessive troop tours.

6. General I have heard that, in reporting troop deaths, only deaths that occur in Iraq from direct combat are counted. I understand that deaths that occur outside Iraq, say in Rein Air Force base in Germany or in a VA in the States are not counted even if the injuries that caused the death occurred in combat in Iraq. I also understand that suicides that appear to relate directly to tours in Iraq, which are very high relative to the general population, are not counted toward the toll. Please tell us if what I hear is accurate and explain the criteria for statistical inclusion. If my information is correct, how many more troop deaths would be attributable to the Iraqi war if such deaths were included?

update: Steve's questions get picked up by OpenLeft.com

update 2: Tom actually covers this in full without any of his typical biased attacks on Steve

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