The exit plan

August 2, 2010 1:29:46 PM PDT
They'll be moving troops out of Iraq and moving troops to the Mexico border. Or at least that's the plan, or plans, talked about today by Pres. Obama.

Mr. Obama today - reiterating his campaign pledge to end the U.S. combat mission in Iraq - and his Presidential pledge to do it by the end of this month.

"That is exactly what we are doing - as promised and on schedule."

What kind of Iraq the U.S. will leave behind (of course the U.S. isn't completely leaving, and who knows how long that will last?) remains a source of conflicting reports. The White House likes to tout how violence has decreased in that war-torn country. But Iraqis aren't agreeing with that assessment. July, says the Iraq government, was the deadliest month in more than two years.

So now there's a spitting match between the Pentagon and the Iraq government. Were there 535 people killed and 1,043 wounded last month, as Iraq says; or were there 222 people killed and 782 wounded, as the U.S. military insists?

Sheesh. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

One more note about Iraq: the New York Times this morning has a troubling story about electricity in that country, one of the "benchmarks" of progress. It's an old system under the best of circumstances, but in Baghdad last month, there were an average of five hours a day of electricity. I'm just sayin'.

As for the National Guard troops along the southwest border - we're told don't expect to see any soldiers there until early September. In fact, don't expect to see them. They'll largely be in unseen support roles.

Will that work? Would love to hear your feedback.

We'll cover both stories, tonight at 11.

We're also at the airport tonight, where Spirit Airlines is now charging passengers for carry-on luggage -- $45 at the airport, $30 if you pay in advance. If it doesn't fit in the space under your feet (and we know how much room that is!), then you pay.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg with his AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers (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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