July 19th, 2007
12:24 PM ET
11 years ago

Iraq sectarian violence down, Crocker says

Crocker said Thursday the Iraqi government is reflecting the “stresses, strains and tensions throughout society.”

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The American ambassador in Baghdad said Thursday that as a result of the troop buildup in Iraq, sectarian violence has gone down "to a fairly notable degree."

But Ryan Crocker said that "high-profile attacks" - such as the suicide truck bombing in Kirkuk that killed 80 people - continue and noted that great anxiety continues to fill the streets and rural areas of the war-torn country.

Speaking via satellite from Baghdad, Crocker told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "if there is one word I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq ... that word would be fear."

"I certainly will not try to present to you the Iraqi government as a model of smoothly functioning efficiency because it is not. It faces considerable difficulties," said Crocker. And, he added, "the stresses, strains and tensions throughout society" are "reflected in the government."

He spoke after a classified question-and-answer session with lawmakers on the Iraq war

Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, are to provide an assessment to Washington in September of what is going on in Iraq, where the troop buildup, called a "surge" by the Bush administration, was completed last month.

Crocker said there have been encouraging developments over the past few months, citing the stances of tribes people in Anbar province who are shifting their allegiances to Iraqi and coalition forces. He said this sentiment is spreading to parts of the Baghdad region, and in Diyala and Nineveh provinces.

- CNN's KD Fabian contributed to this report

TIME.com: How to Leave Iraq

Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Providence, RI

    Do you believe Crocker? He will say or do anything that is asked by the administration to paint a rosy, beautiful picture of Iraq, because he works for the administration...

    July 19, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The Generals and Ambassadors du jour will continue to feed us more "stay the course" until Congress summons up the courage to cut off their funds and watch their enthusiasm wither away.

    July 19, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. John Schaaf, Long Beach, Ca.

    It's hard to take these comments seriously when this administration has zero credibility on the issue!

    July 19, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Gypsy, an American in Mexico

    George W is backed into a corner on the Valerie Plame coverup (and various other things). To distract people from his criminal self, he first brings out the fear tactic: Chertoff having a "gut feeling" the U.S. is going to get hit this summer (of course the U.S. is going to get hit again–sometime). But Americans have smartened up to Bush's crying wolf (and I don't mean Dr. Blitzer) and didn't go running for cover, so I guess bringing back rosier stories is the next tactic. He must have forgotten already that the people are onto him about those, too. Wonder what Plan C is?

    July 19, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. B. Chen

    Wishful thinking and lies.

    July 19, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Pete, T.S. FL

    “if there is one word I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq … that word would be fear.”

    Is he talking about the Iraqi people or the Bush administration?

    July 19, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    What a Crock!

    July 19, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Glenn,B'ham,Al

    We need to keep in mind as Americans how important it is to win this conflict. I am not a Republican. But I think that the Democates are working to lose the war & against there own country. Let us look at people out side of the circle "Bush & Clinton"
    Is this so impossible to consider, that we can throw these losers out, without selling out our country?

    July 19, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. John S. Chicago, Illinois

    Lies! Lies! That's all I ever hear from you!

    I thought by now, you'd realize....... There ain't no way to hide your lying eyes.

    Um, yes, Republicans, and most of our "represenative" officials don't give a damn about the public, only lining their pockets with cash and blood, INCLUDING Dems as well, so keep those panties straight.

    I'm going to start a revolution cause I don't think everyone is as blind as they appear to be, maybe I can drum up some support.

    July 19, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Lorraine, Rochester, MN

    The Democrats want us to lose this war so badly that all they want to do is tear down our President. Too bad that they don't have any ideas on how to win this war. The last thing they want is victory. Such poor losers!!

    July 19, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  11. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Keep it up Crocker, keep feeding us all this rhetoric, that we've heard a 1000 times before. The American people have had more than a belly full! I wonder how many times you can rephrase "Stay the Course?" The Course be Stayed? How about, We're in for the Long Haul? Or what they use to say in Vietnam, "inside every Vietnamese is an American just waiting to come out," so, "inside every Iraqi is also an American waiting to come out?"

    July 19, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. Vishesh N.

    I don't see any news about Thailand even when there is huge coup in Thailand and the people are trying to fight back for their country.

    July 22, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |