Bush to discuss Iraq tactics with Gen. Abizaid

As critics from all sides amass against the administration's strategy in Iraq, Bush announces a previously unscheduled meeting with the CentCom commander.

Published October 20, 2006 7:11PM (EDT)

As we've already reported today, the Bush administration is getting hit from all sides on its prosecution of the Iraq war. So what to do to show you're serious, not to mention responsive to voters?

Well, if you're the Bush administration, you'll try and take back the news cycle by announcing a previously unscheduled meeting with Gen. John Abizaid, CentCom commander.

The administration was quick to deny, however, that this signaled anything but a possible -- and far from certain -- change in tactics, and certainly not a change in the administration's overall strategy of "staying the course" indefinitely.

"The president is not going to alter his approach based on political considerations," White House press secretary Tony Snow told Fox News, "but instead on the business of trying and moving toward having an Iraq that can sustain, govern and defend itself."

It may be a little late for that -- the Associated Press is reporting today that the army of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has taken over Amarah, a city in the south of Iraq that British troops left in August.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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