Why his testimony was far more important than Petraeus'.
Crocker is right that Iraqi leaders' intentions and how much actual power they wield is more important than whether they have accomplished a specific set of benchmarks--or whether withdrawal will do more harm than good. But his cautious optimism didn't even seem to convince himself. Even when he was describing areas like provincial reconstruction in which he'd had "pretty good luck," Crocker sounded depressed. I think he's well on his way to becoming another tragic figure of this war: well-intentioned, capable, but brought to his knees by the mistakes of others and the sheer immensity of the task he was given. Success is "achievable"? You wouldn't know it from Crocker's manner at the hearing today--a subdued, this-is-all-hypothetical-anyway spirit, like a doctor whose careful and long-ranging diagnoses are for naught because the patient in front of him is already gone.