COMMENTS: Political, Military, Diplomatic

The three networks took the initiative and each departed from the routine war news of the day to file distinct features on the situation in Iraq. CBS looked at politics as Lara Logan obtained an Exclusive sitdown with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. "There is a real threat of a coup," he confessed to Logan, since the top ranks of his army have been filled with "so many officers who served under Saddam Hussein." The prime minister proclaimed: "No I am not afraid--but I have to watch the army."

ABC's Terry McCarthy traveled to al-Anbar Province to take A Closer Look at the military leadership of Gen David Petraeus. The general's primary mission is to establish security in Baghdad itself so he explained what he was doing out in the desert: "You have to get into the belts that surround Baghdad. That is where the carbomb factories are." Furthermore his briefers told him that each month at least 60 foreign fighters cross the al-Anbar desert from Syria: "You can do the math. That is a substantial number of sensational attacks."

NBC examined the continuing failure of the State Department to provide political asylum for war refugees whose lives were threatened after working for the United Nations or the United States in Baghdad. In the four years since the fall of Baghdad, Andrea Mitchell pointed out, the US has granted 535 visas compared with 18,000 last year alone by European nations. "So far," she stated, screening applicants to eliminate potential terrorists "is a higher priority than providing safe haven."


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