Fred Thompson’s comments on Iraq aren’t exactly dripping with specifics, but he certainly seems to be focused on Iran’s role over there:
You mentioned Gen. Petraeus’ testimony to the Senate. Are you satisfied the direction that our military is taking in Iraq?
Clearly I’m happy with the direction that our military is going in. … Progress has got to be sustained. But we’ve seen a lot of conflicts over the years that were uneven for a long time before we finally prevailed. Petraeus and Ambassador [Ryan] Crocker laid out some of the consequences if we don’t give ourselves a chance to succeed. … Iran is a serious enemy of the United States. They sponsor terrorism, they’ve been killing our people for years. They’re doing it today in Iraq. They’d like nothing more than to move into that vacuum. You have an extremely volatile, dangerous situation on top of all that oil and oil reserves.
Some of your opponents had the chance to ask the general some questions. If you had been on that Senate panel, what would you have asked?
I don’t have any magic questions that would go further than what they did. … The questions weren’t as important as the answers and he gave all the answers he needed to give to address the important issues, which is basically are we moving in the right direction? Have we had some successes, are the Iraqi people themselves more for us today than they were yesterday, and do we have a chance to stabilize the place?
I think, after a week of senators preening and lecturing Petraeus – some even forgetting to ask him a question – a figure who says, “I don’t have any magic questions” and who says the answers are more important may be welcomed by voters. Modesty is in short supply in politics.