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FROM THIS EPISODE

Re-assessing US strategies in Iraq. Is sending in more troops the answer? The White House, Pentagon and Iraq Study Group are all considering options, and are expected to make recommendations soon. Does the US have enough combat-ready soldiers to increase troop levels in Iraq? How have the elections affected the debate? What role does public opinion play?  Plus, another assassination in Beirut, and remembering Robert Altman, a singular voice in American cinema, who passed away last night. Sara Terry guest hosts.

Producers:
Karen Radziner
Katie Cooper
Andrea Brody

Reporter's Notebook Filmmaker Robert Altman Dies 6 MIN, 56 SEC

He created some of the most influential movies of the past forty years: MASH, McCabe and Mrs Miller, Nashville, The Long Goodbye, The Player.  Just this year, he released what would turn out to be his last film, Prairie Home Companion. Filmmaker Robert Altman, who died last night at the age of 81, won five 'Best Director' Oscar nominations during his career and finally won a life-time achievement award at this year's Oscar ceremonies. It was a long career, worthy of its own long goodbye.

Guests:
Charles Michener, Cultural journalist

Making News Lebanese Christian Leader Pierre Gemayel Assassinated 5 MIN, 50 SEC

A prominent Lebanese Christian leader and critic of Syria was assassinated in Beirut today. Pierre Gemayel, who was also Minister of Industry, was shot dead by gunmen as his convoy traveled through a Christian neighborhood on the northern edge of Beirut. The shooting adds to an already tense political situation in Lebanon.

Guests:
Hanna Anbar, Associate Publisher of Lebanon's Daily Star

Main Topic US Troops in Iraq: Send in More, Pull Them out? 35 MIN, 56 SEC

With the mid-term elections over, and an insurgency that continues to rage, the debate is heating up in Washington over what exit strategy the US should follow in withdrawing American troops from Iraq. President Bush says he hasn't decided whether to increase the number of US troops, the Pentagon has been exploring three different options, and a bipartisan panel is expected to come out with its recommendations in the next few weeks. Some policy makers suggest a short-term build-up leading to an exit, others call for an immediate withdrawal. Is it possible to stabilize the situation while still pulling out troops?  How will Congressional Democrats wield their new authority? What options is the public willing to support?

Guests:
Gordon Lubold, Reporter, Politico
Michael Fumento, Author, journalist, photographer and attorney
Lawrence Korb, Center for American Progress Action Fund (@LarryKorb)
William Arkin, Online Columnist, Washington Post
Robert Dallek, Presidential historian

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