The Associated Press reports that:
"Iraq’s political leaders emerged Thursday from three days of crisis talks with a new alliance that seeks to save the crumbling U.S.-backed government."Oh, goody!
But wait a goshdarned minute: The reshaped power bloc includes no Sunnis.
In other news in the run-up to the breathlessly awaited progress report to be given or not given in public or not in public by General David Petraeus:
* Although it comes as a shock because of how forthright the Bush administration has been, a majority of Americans don't trust Petraeus's upcoming report and even if they did, it wouldn't change their mind, according to a new poll.
* The death toll in the horrific suicide bombings in northern Iraq (see photo) passed 400, making them the deadliest coordinated attack since 9/11.
* The Shiite takeover of the Iraqi army seems to be just about complete, which may explain why Moqtada al-Sadr has been on his best behavior lately.
* As expected, the situation in Basra in southern Iraq continues to deteriorate, although the black gold flows by the black-market barrelful amidst the power vacuum left by the drawdown of British troops.
* Some Iraqi women are being driven to prostitution to feed their children because the cost of living has gone through the roof as a result of the war.
* The U.S. death toll in Iraq motored past 3,700 this week, with 57 soldiers dying in the first 17 days of August.
* For years, the U.S. brass has warned that soldiers' blogs could pose a security threat by leaking sensitive information, but a series of online audits conducted by the Army, suggests that official Defense Department websites post far more potentially harmful info than blogs do.
Photograph by Agence France Press