Frequently Asked Questions About Gen. Petraeus’ Congressional Testimony:

Q. How did Gen. Petraeus’ testimony in front of Congress go? A. Pretty good. He emphasized that progress was being made in Iraq. The same way he talked about the progress being made in Iraq when he testified in the same room back in 2004. He might be using the same script.

Q. What’s the difference between then and now? A. Back then, Baghdad still had electricity and water and the wheel.

Q. Did Gen. Petraeus speak about what the future holds for our Iraqi involvement? A. He acknowledged the road ahead would be difficult. He also allowed that fire engines are often red.

Q. The general said we have raised the number of trained Iraqi security forces fighting alongside American troops. Is it a significant rise? A. Sixty percent. From five to eight.

Q. Five to eight brigades? Divisions? A. No. Troops. Used to be five guys we could trust. Now it’s eight.

Q. What happened to the Democrats holding the general’s feet to the fire? A. Everyone except scampered away like 12-year-old girls running from a big hairy spider.

Q. What did do? A. They ran a full-page ad in The New York Times spotlighting “General Betray Us.”

Q. Why? A. How often do you get a rhyme like that? Once in a lifetime shot; they took it.

Q. Doesn’t the latest national intelligence estimate report Iraq’s government is paralyzed by internal squabbling and petty personal differences? A. Yes, so if you think about it, we have made strides in installing an American-style democracy.

Q. Did the general really respond to whether our intervention in Iraq was making America safer, by saying, “Uh, I don’t know, actually?” A. Yeah. So?

Q. Nothing. Just curious. A. Well, move on. I mean, keep going.

Q. What does the general mean when he says security gains since the “surge” have been “uneven.” A. “Uneven” is traditional Pentagon-speak for “getting our butts handed to us on a paper plate.”

Q. What about those benchmarks that were oh-so-important in January? A. Turns out they weren’t really all that important. What is important is other stuff. Stuff that looks good right now.

Q. The president called the insurgents in Iraq, al-Qaida 12 times in his speech. What’s up with that? A. A small group calls itself al-Qaida of Iraq, but it’s not the same al-Qaida responsible for 9/11. Surfing off the credibility of the name. Kind of like a terrorism franchise.

Q. Does fighting one hurt the other? A. There used to be two teams in the Canadian Football League called the Red Ryders. But if you beat one, it didn’t mean you got credit for two victories in the standings.

Q. What ever happened to “we’ll step down when the Iraqis step up?” A. Someone stole the steps.

Q. Was a timetable provided for reducing troops in Iraq? A. Nothing clear-cut. Something to do with snow and hell.

Q. And the upshot of the whole thing? A. Gen. Petraeus asked for more time. He’s hoping to come back in March with a new report.

Q. So, they’re just going to keep kicking the dead cat down the road. Until when, do you think? A. Does Nov. 4, 2008 have any meaning here?

Q. Is that a question? A. Sorry, no.

Comedian, actor, writer, former radio talk-show host and forklift driver Will Durst thinks Bush’s model for Iraq was made in Korea and will break in less than a week.

© 2007 Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Catch Will Durst performing his solo show “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing” off-Broadway at the New World Stages (340 W. 50th St.), extended through the end of October. Log on to for more info. Listen to his twice-weekly commentaries at And check out iTunes audiobooks for his new CD: “Ring Toss for Aliens,” for a limited time — only $4.95. E-mail Will at [email protected].

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