The government generally releases bad news on a Friday afternoon. Really bad news is released on the Friday afternoon of a three-day weekend.
Thus it was that the Pentagon released a report this afternoon that notes the increasing violence in Iraq. Here are the first two paragraphs:
Iraqi casualties soared by more than 50 percent during the roughly three-month period ending in early August, the product of spiraling sectarian clashes and a Sunni-based insurgency that remains "potent and viable," the Pentagon noted today in a comprehensive assessment of security in Iraq.
In a grim 63-page report, the Pentagon chronicled bad news on a variety of fronts. One telling indicator was the number of weekly attacks, which reached an all-time high in July.
Meanwhile, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld have been trying to frame the conflict in Iraq as the twenty-first-century equivalent of earlier struggles against fascism. It would be helpful, assuming that's what we're going to be hearing over and over again between now and the mid-term elections, if the administration would also put forward a plan for winning this war. "Stay the course" is no plan at all when the course is as disastrous as the one described in the Pentagon's report.