Given the Canadian wankersphere's unseemly talent for celebration whenever good news comes out of Iraq, you might as well steel yourself for the inevitable high-fiving next month:
Top general may propose pullbacks
Petraeus is expected to tell Congress that Iraqis can assume duties in some areas, freeing U.S. troops for other uses.
Intent on demonstrating progress in Iraq, the top U.S. general there is expected by Bush administration officials to recommend removing American troops soon from several areas where commanders believe security has improved, possibly including Al Anbar province.
According to the officials, Gen. David H. Petraeus is expected to propose the partial pullback in his September status report to Congress, when both the war's critics and supporters plan to reassess its course. Administration officials who support the current troop levels hope Petraeus' recommendations will persuade Congress to reject pressure for a major U.S. withdrawal.
But amidst all the cheery glad-handing, one wonders whether any of those aforementioned wanks will see fit to mention this (buried near the bottom of page 2):
Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.
And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report's data.
Yeah, the devil is always in the details, isn't he?