POLITICS

David Petraeus: Iraqis Not Making "Sufficient Progress"

With a Senate appearance looming to explain the success of President Bush's surge in Iraq, Gen. David Petreaus has offered his starkest commentary yet on the state of Iraq reconciliation, reports the Washington Post:

Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.

The general's comments appeared to be his sternest to date on Iraqis' failure to achieve political reconciliation. In February, following the passage of laws on the budget, provincial elections and an amnesty for certain detainees, Petraeus was more encouraging. "The passage of the three laws today showed that the Iraqi leaders are now taking advantage of the opportunity that coalition and Iraqi troopers fought so hard to provide," he said at the time.

Public approval for the war in Iraq has increased over the last six months in the United States, during a time when the media coverage decreased 80% relative to its summer coverage.