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FROM THIS EPISODE

George Bush says he's not sure whether to increase troop levels to complete the mission in Iraq. As official reports and public opinion come to a head, what's next for the US in Iraq?  Pentagon insiders describe the options as "go big," "go long," or "go home."  Plus, remembering filmmaker Robert Altman, dead at the age of 81.  Sara Terry guest hosts.

Producers:
Karen Radziner
Andrea Brody
Katie Cooper

Reporter's Notebook Filmmaker Robert Altman Dies 7 MIN, 12 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

Main Topic US Troops in Iraq: Go Big, Go Long or Go Home? 17 MIN, 41 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? (An extended version of this discussion was originally broadcast earlier today on To the Point.)  Sara Terry guest hosts.

Guests:
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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