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When Petraeus Met Hewitt

it's disappointingtranscript
HH: Do you think al Qaeda in Iraq is buckling, General Petraeus? DP: Well, it's probably too soon to say that, but we think that we have them off plan. Now having said that, they clearly retain and have demonstrated, tragically in recent, the past week or so, the ability to continue to carry out sensational attacks. [snip] HH: Do you see any evidence, General, that al Qaeda is now operating jointly with the Iranian regime? There've been some reports that in fact, they are now based, in some respects, within Iran and operating across the border with Iran. DP: Well, there is an al Qaeda affiliate, I think is the best way to put it. Certainly, they're under the overall banner of al Qaeda, an element formerly Ansar al Sunna, some of their members, another group affiliated with al Qaeda, that is located in Northwestern Iran, just east of the Iraqi border, east of the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah. They have come into Iraq. Our operators and Iraqi operators have conducted strikes against them. And we believe, in fact, that Iran may have actually taken some steps against them as well. They're not sitting there at the invitation of Iran, but it's a very, very rugged area, and a fairly substantial area as well. [snip] HH: Is the media doing a good job of taking that ample amount of information and transmitting it in an objective fashion in your view, General Petraeus? DP: I think they generally are. I think it is difficult, though, in a sense, to get past the soundbytes sometimes. It is difficult to convey a nuance sense of events. And certainly, look, at the end of the day, it is hard to get past the fact that a sensational attack is going to lead. And that's just a fact of life. And I think that occasionally, you know, folks will wince over here and say gosh, you know, they didn't get the ribbon cutting we did today, or nobody covered the job fair, or the opening of the new police academy, or whatever it might be, because a car bomb went off. Well again, that's reality, and terrible loss of life, sadly but realistically, is going to bump some feel good stories. So I think that's just something we have to come to grips with. It is again a fact of life, and such is life. [Emphasis added.]
Jason Zengerle