In mid-September, General Petraeus will report back to the US Congress on the progress -or lack thereof - in Iraq, using a number of benchmarks.
At least one consideration is the state of security and level of terrorist violence in Iraq.
Already, some have suggested that al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) will try a Tet Offensive tactic, possibly in the form of a mega-suicide attack. The intention would be to sway public opinion in the US that the military should be withdrawn.
In this context, comes this article from Reuters:
Thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims set off for Iraq's holy city of Kerbala on Sunday, demonstrating their political power but aware of the threat of bomb attacks ahead of one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest days.I hope I am wrong, but the timing is ominous.