An Month of Eventful Iraq News

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More than 100 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq in October, making it the deadliest month of the war since Jan. 2005. It was also a month of significant political developments related to the War back in Washington.


It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Today is the end of one of the bloodiest months for Americans in Iraq.

(Soundbite of news broadcasts)

Unidentified Woman #1: American casualties in Iraq have been climbing. Up until now…

Unidentified Woman #2: …the U.S. military is reporting more American deaths over the weekend, raising the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq this month to more than…

Senator JOHN WARNER (Republican, Virginia): It seems to me that the situation is simply drifting sidewise.

INSKEEP: Those are some of the sounds this month, and that last voice is Republican Senator John Warner. More than 100 Americans were killed in October, which makes this the deadliest month since January 2005.

Just before U.S. congressional elections, some opinions about the war are changing. In a moment we'll hear from Baghdad and from troops about to go there. First, here is a look at some of what we have reported in the past month.

(Soundbite of previous NPR broadcasts)

Unidentified Woman #3: In Baghdad today, an unusually bleak assessment from the spokesman for the U.S. military.

General WILLIAM CALDWELL (U.S. Army): Operation Together Forward has made a difference in the focus areas but has not met our overall expectations of sustaining a reduction in the levels of violence.

Unidentified Man #1: A leading Republican senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, says Iraq is on the verge of chaos and that the current plan is not working.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: Stay the course is about a quarter right. Stay the course means keep doing what you're doing. My attitude is don't do what you're doing if it's not working. Change.

INSKEEP: Presidential Press Secretary Tony Snow says President Bush has retired that signature phrase - stay the course.

Secretary TONY SNOW (White House Press Secretary): Because it lent the wrong impression about what was going on.

Vice President DICK CHENEY: I can't say that we're over the hump in terms of violence, no.

Secretary DONALD RUMSFELD (United States Secretary of Defense): You're looking for some sort of a guillotine to come flowing down if some date isn't met; that is not what this is about. This is complicated stuff.

President BUSH: I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation in Iraq. I'm not satisfied either.

MONTAGNE: President Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney and other voices we've heard in the last few weeks.

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