Petraeus on Iraq; Airline Woes Latest

Behind The News
April 9, 2008 1:04:03 PM PDT
It's one of the strongest images of the Iraq war - the statute of Saddam Hussein toppling down in Baghdad.I think I've said this before in this space, but a staffer here who was in favor of the invasion saw the pictures coming in from Iraq and shouted out, "Where's your quagmire now?"

Those were the days when then-Defense Sec. Rumsfeld liked to say that he didn't know if the war would last 3 days or 3 weeks, but certainly it wouldn't last 3 months.

Today before Congress, the top U.S. Commander in Iraq reiterated his message that progress in Iraq remains "fragile and reversible." Gen. David Patraeus, who yesterday said he sees no immediate light at the end of the tunnel, today told lawmakers that his goal is to not to increase troop levels.

We'll have the latest from Iraq, and reaction to Patraeus' testimony, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, what a mess the airline system has become. Today, American Airlines, the world's largest, cancelled more than 1,000 of its flights, as the company tries to inspect and, where needed, fix wiring in the wheel wells of its fleet of MD-80 aircraft. More flights are likely to be cancelled tomorrow. For passengers -- well, you can just imagine. And now Alaska Airlines is also cancelling some flights to inspect its MD-80s. We'll have the latest tonight.

And under the category - hey, who says the Vatican doesn't listen? The Archdiocese of New York announced today that 5,000 tickets will be made available to the public to see Pope Benedict XVI as he leads Mass at St. Pat's on April 19.

There had been -- and remain - some Catholics disgruntled over the ceremony not being open to anyone but invited clergy from around the country. Yesterday they issued a strong statement of protest. Today, the church announced the availability.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Marvell Scott (in for Scott Clark) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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