Iraq Might Have A Chance After All

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, right, greets the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East Gen. John Abizaid, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Aug.24, 2006. "I think that there's been great progress in the security front here recently in Baghdad," Abizaid said. (AP Photo/Daniel Berehulak, Pool)
AP Photo
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Christopher Shays, a Republican congressman from Connecticut and a long-time supporter of the war, now says the United States should set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. It's part of a trend. This week we heard Sen. John McCain lay into the Bush administration for obfuscating the day-to-day truth of the war. Last weekend, Sen. Joe Lieberman said it was time for a change at the Pentagon (Read that: Rumsfeld must go).

Yes, the war backers are trying to put some distance between themselves and the administration. But just when you thought there might never be a shred of good news from the war zone, we hear that the recent deployment of American troops into Baghdad is paying dividends.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann accompanied U.S. Gen. John Abizaid into some formerly deadly neighborhoods and came out with the headline: The number of attacks and killings is going down.

Don't unfurl the "Mission Accomplished" banner yet. But, if the United States can bring order to the streets of Baghdad, Iraq might have a chance.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith