President Bush, facing urgent pressure to find a fresh strategy in Iraq, met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday, a day after a bipartisan commission report said his war policies have failed and that "time is running out."
The Iraq Study Group’s report, which said the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating" after nearly four years of bloodshed, was among topics of Bush’s talks with Blair.
The toll in one of the U.S. military’s deadliest days in Iraq rose to 11 Thursday when the military confirmed that another soldier had died in fighting west of Baghdad.
At least seven Iraqis — six policemen and a 7-year-old girl — were killed in a series of bombings and shootings.
The U.S. soldier was shot Wednesday while manning a machine gun nest on the roof of an outpost in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, the capital of the volatile Anbar province, according to a Associated Press reporter on the scene.
Although former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., has not made any official announcements, observers note that "it’s the worst-kept secret in Washington" that he plans to make a second run for the White House.
"He’s got a pretty impressive schedule if he’s not running for president," said Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Although the White House said President Bush’s reception of the Iraq Study Group and its recommendations was one of "good will and civility" and "entirely constructive," the president had to be privately steaming at the panel’s harsh and implicit indictment of his mishandling and misjudgment of that war.