ABC News' Jennifer Parker reports: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said during a Senate hearing on the future of Iraq with Army Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, that holding the hearing on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks "perpertuates the notion" that Iraq and 9/11 are linked.
"I think we should not have had this discussion on 9/11 or 9/10 or 9/12," Obama said during his opening statement. "It perpetuates this notion that the original attacks had something to do with going into Iraq."
Obama went on to criticize what he called a failed Iraq strategy.
"This continues to be a disastrous foreign policy mistake," he said. "There are bad options and worse options."
"This is not a criticism of you gentlemen but a criticism of the President," Obama said. However, the Illinois Senator accused Petraeus of dodging questions about the overarching Iraq war strategy. "You've punted a little bit," Obama said. " We don't have limitless resources â€¦ the question is one of strategy not tactics."
He argued the administration has artificially lowered expectations of what constitutes progress in Iraq. "We have now set the bar so low that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situationâ€¦ is considered success. And it's not," Obama said.
Obama argued President Bush has made it impossible to have a bi-partisan discussion about the way forward in Iraq because he refuses to admit the war strategy was flawed. "There has been no acknowledgement of that on the part of this administration," he said.
"We have the president in Australia suggesting somehow that we are, as was stated before, kicking A-S-S.," Obama said. "How can we have a president making that assessment?"
Obama told Petraeus the President's assertions, "It makes it very difficult then for those of us who would like to join with you in a bipartisan way to figure out how to best move forward to extricate this from the day-to-day politics that infects Washington."