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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Bush is receiving a deluge of reports and advice, as Congress holds hearings. Military leaders, government agencies and outside experts are analyzing every aspect of the troubled war in Iraq. With little progress in quelling the insurgency and thousands of Iraqis being killed or forced from their homes each week, many politicians are demanding a phased withdrawal. Also, Germany breaks up a terrorist plot against American interests and, on Reporter's Notebook, professional athletes spend their whole lives preparing to win. How should they act when they lose?  Jim Sterngold guest hosts.


President George W. Bush speaks to members of the Regimental Combat Team-2, Marine Wing Support Combat Patrol at Al Asad Airbase, Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
White House photo by Eric Draper

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Dan Konecky
Frances Anderton

Main Topic The Looming Political Battle over Iraq 33 MIN, 56 SEC

Although Congressional Democrats failed to prevent President Bush's military surge in Iraq last year, they won a concession. They funded the increased deployments, but demanded that the administration report on the success of its operations by September 15. With that day of reckoning almost here, the political battle lines have been drawn. Many Democrats, and a growing number of Republicans, are demanding a withdrawal. The military is stretched to the breaking point, but terrorism remains a threat and the President says the surge needs more time. When General David Petreaus makes his report next week, Bush will face one of his toughest decisions since he launched the war: does the US stay or go? Can Bush continue to fight and still bring some troops home? Guest host Jim Sterngold explores the chaos of Iraq that's taking center stage in the chaotic political arena in Washington.

Guests:
Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Andrew Kohut, Pew Research Center (@pewresearch)
Larry Kaplow, Baghdad Correspondent for Newsweek
Peter Galbraith, former Deputy Special Representative in Afghanistan for the UN Secretary General
Wayne White, Middle East Policy Council (@middleeastinst)

Making News Germans Foil Alleged Chemical Attack on US Interests 5 MIN, 49 SEC

German police today say that they've broken up a plot to launch a string of terrorist bombings against Americans. The suspected terrorists, two Germans and a Turk, were arrested as they prepared to move what the police said was an enormous volume of bomb materials. They also said the men appeared to be linked to al Qaeda. Is homegrown terrorism a growing threat in Europe? Philipp Hedemann reports from Hamburg for Bild Zeitung.

Guests:
Philipp Hedemann, Reporter for Bild Zeitung

Reporter's Notebook Serena Williams Bad Sport over Loss at US Open 8 MIN, 56 SEC

Professional athletes spend their whole lives preparing to win. They're expected to throw themselves physically and emotionally into their sports, fighting with all they've got to the finish. They're also expected to be cheerful and good sports, even when they lose. Yesterday, at the US Open, one loser had the nerve to do something that sportswriters hate. After her loss to Justine Henin, a very sullen Serena Williams addressed the press. Do we expect too much from our sports heroes? Doug Robson, who writes on tennis for USA Today, has more on the hoopla surrounding Williams' dour mood.

Guests:
Doug Robson, Tennis writer for USA Today

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