In the middle of a sobering, grim article on Iraq's worsening prospects comes this bit of carefully placed, lovingly-crafted spin (italics mine):
Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top American officer in the Middle East, said in a briefing in Washington that one problem was the disappointing progress in developing Iraqi police units cohesive enough to mount an effective challenge to insurgents and allow American forces to begin stepping back from the fighting. General Abizaid, who speaks with President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld regularly, was in Washington this week for a meeting of regional commanders.
Sound familiar? Like from every Bush administration press conference you've ever heard? Yeah, I thought so too. Gotta respect that sort of message discipline, coming as it is from New York Times reporters. The rest of the article, however, is very good, and you should read it. Looks like Iraq isn't prgressing as swimmingly as we'd hoped.