Bush Iraq War Policy Needs More Time

WASHINGTON (AP) - Wait until September.

That's the message from Secretary of State Condoleezza, who's made the rounds of the morning shows to defend the Bush administration's Iraq strategy.

Appearing after the House voted to force a U-S troop withdrawal by next spring, Rice acknowledged that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government hasn't achieved "as much progress as we would like."

But she says Baghdad has lowered the level of sectarian violence and that in volatile Anbar province, local people are "taking back their streets from al-Qaida."

Rice says she believes letting Bush's strategy play out "is the wisest course."

In September, commanding General David Petraeus and U-S Ambassador Ryan Crocker are scheduled to deliver a new assessment of conditions in Iraq.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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