Top Democrat signals support for Petraeus

May 23, 2008, Friday/ 19:22:00/ AP
A top Democrat staunchly opposed to the Iraq war indicated Thursday that he supports President George W. Bush’s decision to promote Gen. David Petraeus to head US Central Command and Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno as the next commander of troops in Iraq.
Sen. Carl Levin, who leads the Senate Armed Services Committee, said confirmation of the nominations would enable unprecedented continuity of leadership in Iraq by officers whose knowledge of the war effort is unparalleled. “Regardless of one’s view of the wisdom of the policy that took us to Iraq in the first place and has kept us there over five years, we owe Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno a debt of gratitude for the commitment, determination and strength that they brought to their areas of responsibility,” said Levin, a Democrat, at the start of a confirmation hearing for the two generals. “And regardless how long the administration may choose to remain engaged in the strife in that country, our troops are better off with the leadership these two distinguished soldiers provide,” he added. Petraeus, who has been leading troops in Iraq, is slated to be promoted to head of US Central Command. 

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