) The House has scheduled hearings next week for both the GAO report on Iraq and one by "by an independent commission of military experts." Big surprise, both reports are expected to be dire. (The White House has prepared its ground during the August recess, the Congress is trying to prep the debate in early September
) I'm sure Bush will press the latest political developments in today's speech, but if you listen to the Sunni leaders (bottom), the shine may not be there.
) "A call by Puerto Rico's governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen."
) The British have withdrawn their joint presence at the Basra police station. The green Shia flag rose almost immediately over the building.
) The trial of some of Saddam's henchman is "rekindling" Shia memories of US abandonment after 91 war. (There's a reason Saddam was only tried for crimes against the Kurds
) Pincus writes about a 2006 DoD funded study examining the idea of arming Sunni tribes. "In short, the study's experts pointed toward what has become a short-term U.S. success, while warning more than a year ago -- as the intelligence community did last week -- that it is all temporary."
) "Iraq's deadly insurgent groups have financed their war against U.S. troops in part with hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. rebuilding funds that they've extorted from Iraqi contractors in Anbar province."
) Many new recruits are taking the $20,000 "quickship" bonus.
) The Army is also using a new recruiting plan, "Active First." Sign up for the Guard and then go active duty.And
, big surprise
, Lindsey Graham comes back from Iraq supporting "the surge." My question is, how does he arrange these two week "reserve duty" stints in Iraq that coincide with Congressional breaks?
("Graham, who wore fatigues and was armed with a Beretta pistol throughout his stay, also served a brief reserve duty in Iraq in April.")