Wednesday, June 13, 2007

U.S. tries to temper expectations on Iraq progress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A September progress report on the U.S. troop increase in Iraq that President George W. Bush called an important moment for his war strategy is unlikely to be a "pivotal" assessment, officials now say.

Amid unrelenting bloodshed in Iraq and scant signs of progress by the Iraqi government in meeting political benchmarks, the White House sought to temper expectations of rapid strides resulting from a security crackdown begun at the start of this year.

"I have warned from the very beginning about expecting some sort of magical thing to happen in September," White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters on Wednesday.

Our expectations were pretty damned low to begin with Tony. The Bush administration has a gift of disappointing us no matter how generously we grade them on a curve. The Iraqis and our troops continue to suffer the consequences with no end in sight.