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Page last updated at 23:23 GMT, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 00:23 UK

Key quotes: surge hearing - day two

America's military commander in Iraq and the US envoy in Baghdad have faced a second day of tough questioning in Congress about the US troop build-up. Here are key quotes from senators who questioned Gen David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker:

HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (DEMOCRAT)

I give you tremendous credit for presenting as positive a view of a rather grim reality.

I believe that you and certainly the very capable people working with both of you, were dealt a very hard hand. And it's a hand that is unlikely to improve, in my view.

It's not only the Iraqi government that has failed to pursue a coherent strategy, I think our own has as well.

JOSEPH BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (DEMOCRAT)

The American people will not support an infinite war whose sole remaining purpose is to prevent the situation in Iraq from becoming worse than it is today.

It's time to turn the corner in my view, gentlemen. We should stop the surge and start bringing our troops home.

We should end a political strategy in Iraq that cannot succeed and begin one that can.

RICHARD LUGAR (REPUBLICAN)

It is not enough for the administration to counsel patience, until the next milestone or the next report.

We need to see a strategy for how our troops and other resources in Iraq might be employed to fundamentally change the equation...

We need to lay the groundwork for sustainable alternatives, so that as the president and Congress move to a new plan, it can be implemented effectively and rapidly.

CHRIS DODD, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (DEMOCRAT)

I don't get a feeling here that there's any real opportunity or optimism, that this is going to get better.

JOHN KERRY (DEMOCRAT)

Nothing today suggested that President Bush's eight months of escalation have done anything to achieve political progress in a deadly civil war...

Is it acceptable that young Americans are dying and being grievously wounded while Iraqi politicians delay and delay and delay meeting their own standards?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (DEMOCRAT)

We have now set the bar so low that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situation to the point where now we just have the levels of intolerable violence that existed in June of 2006 is considered success.

And it's not. This continues to be a disastrous foreign policy mistake.

JOHN DEMINT (REPUBLICAN)

Whenever I'm frustrated and worried about our country because of the political process, I'll tell you General, I'm never more proud or optimistic about the future of our country than when I'm standing with our troops somewhere in the world, and I thank you and all of them.

CHUCK HAGEL (REPUBLICAN)

I don't think that's particularly news that [because] we've inserted more American troops costing more American lives, we've seen some differences...

Are we going to continue to invest American blood and treasure at the same rate we are doing now, for what? The president said let's buy time. Buy time? For what?"

JOHN MCCAIN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (REPUBLICAN)

The question today is not whether we can recover those four years. We cannot. But whether we end this effort in frustration, and accept thereby the terrible consequences that will ensue...

I believe we cannot choose to lose in Iraq. And I will do everything in my power to see that our commanders in Iraq have the time and support they request to win this war.

NORM COLEMAN (REPUBLICAN)

Can we lay on the table something, so that when we have the next downturn... we at least have some objective measures to say that we are on a path to progress?...

Americans want to see light at the end of the tunnel.

BARBARA BOXER (DEMOCRAT)

I ask you to take off your rosy glasses...

We are sending our troops where they're not wanted, with no end in sight, in the middle of a civil war, in the middle of the mother of all mistakes.

EDWARD KENNEDY (DEMOCRAT)

I'd suggest that the Iraqi political leadership is holding hostage American servicemen and women in Iraq.

If they are not going to move, if they are not going to make judgements, if they are not going to make a decision, what I hear from you is that the American commitment is going to be open-ended.

It's going to be open-ended into the future. And I'm not sure the American people are willing to buy into that.




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