(emphasis added; and read the whole speech for his other questions)
Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for calling this hearing on the current state of affairs in Iraq with General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Reviewing the presentations by our panel, I have noted with some concern that they seem more focused on justifying a future attack on Iran than reporting on progress in Iraq. Much of the assertions about Iran in Iraq seem illogical, others seem intended to inflame the situation with little justification.
Particularly, I am concerned about claims that a new enemy in Iraq has emerged with ties to Iran. First we were told that the enemy was Saddam Hussein and his Baathist Party. Then we were told the enemy was the "dead-enders" from Saddam’s former government. Then the prime enemy became "al-Qaeda in Iraq," a prime focus of the presentation by Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus last September. Now we are told that the new enemies are mysterious "Special Groups" that are said to have spun off from al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.
If this phenomenon of constantly emerging enemies bent on destabilizing Iraq is accurate and our presence in Iraq keeps generating new enemies, perhaps the problem is the occupation itself. If this is the case, doesn’t it make sense that our departure from Iraq may actually have a stabilizing effect?