Today's Iraq War News:
Despite harsh grilling from the Senate yesterday on the details of the plan, President Bush-surprising no one-has embraced Patraeus' plans for a slight drawdown next year (and presumably is rejecting a plea for a faster drawdown from more senior military officials.) Some Republicans, unsatisfied by the report, will continue to press for a faster pace in changing in the mission. Democrats will continue to press to bring more Republicans around to such a change. Iraqi politicians are similarly split on whether the situation has improved and whether U.S. forces should leave. Iraqis overwhelmingly favor withdrawal by U.S. troops, but are forced to weigh what effect such a withdrawal would have on them. This McClatchy piece tries to fill in the gaps in the Patraeus-Crocker report.
Insurgents attacked the Green Zone yesterday, killing one person. Nine U.S. soldiers died in accidents on Monday. For the average Iraqi, the war is as deadly as ever. Fighting between Shiite militias continues. Outbreaks of cholera continue unabated in northern Iraq. Syria cracks down on Iraq refugees, and the doors to American remain mostly closed even for those Iraqis employed by American forces.
9/11 remembrances loomed over the debate on Iraq.
UPDATE: Via John Cole, I learned that two of the troops who died in the accidents on Monday were authors of this noted op-ed from a few weeks back in the NY Times. The soldiers, each of whom reported a lack of progress and registered their opposition to the current mission in Iraq, had this to say at the end of the op-ed: "We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.” And they did, to the very end. They died doing what soldiers do, and so did not die in vain. But with their deaths-and the deaths of thousands of other soldiers-our country has suffered a grievous loss that can never be assuaged.