Gen Ray Odierno conducted a teleconference from Baghdad for correspondents at the Pentagon. CBS and ABC each picked up on his newsmaking, each choosing a separate angle. For ABC, Jonathan Karl (subscription required) chose the "major effort to negotiate ceasefires with some of Iraq's most dangerous insurgents." The US military is using the CIA as a go-between, identifying leaders of guerrilla groups and bringing them in for talks. "As a price of peace the insurgents are demanding jobs, pensions and amnesty for their fighters, including those who have killed Americans."
CBS' David Martin observed Odierno "lowering expectations" about the success of the so-called surge, the reinforcement of US troops in Baghdad, designed to create enough security in the capital to enable Iraqi sectarian leaders to reach a political compromise. Martin's unnamed military sources told him that the surge "stands no chance of succeeding by September," the month when Odierno's commander Gen David Petraeus is scheduled to deliver a progress report to Congress. The best the brass in Baghdad hopes from the surge is "just enough progress to justify continuing" it.
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