GERALDO RIVERA: What was the key? I remember your very contentious report in front of Congress. There was very great skepticism about the surge. Too little, too late was the predominant criticism. What do you think was the tipping point?
GEN PETRAEUS: There have been a number of factors... The popular rejection of Al-Qaeda in Anbar was a catalyst. It gave other Iraqis an example of the fact that they could also reject this extremist form of Islam that is not Iraqi in all the violence... There is a momentum and the momemtum starts to have a positive effect.
GERALDO RIVERA: Your commanders though are suggesting that if they have not already won, they are winning the battle of Baghdad.
GEN PETRAEUS: There is no question that there has been impressive and enormous progress made in Baghdad by levels in attack, by civilian deaths, by coalition Iraqi security force casualties, you name it. There has been approvement... I would not have recommended what I did in September, if I would not have projected what we are now seeing in Iraq...
GERALDO RIVERA: You are almost acting as the only true national leader in Iraq today.
GEN PETRAEUS: This is a team effort. This is the new greatest generation of American soldier, sailor, air force, marines, coast guard and we have civilians that are out here in huge numbers as well... Our country should be very proud on the way our services have changed during the course of this.
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