Two of Saddam's associates were hung recently. One of them was beheaded, perhaps accidently. A spokesperson from the Iraqi qoverment said that this execution showed that they were making great progress in terms of exectutions. This may be true considering that Saddam's had elements of being lynched by Shiites.
Bush apparently thinks that anything Congress tries to do to cut funding of the increase in troops won't have any effect for at least a couple of month's. He is hoping that he will have some positive results to show by then. If he is right about the timing then the possible upside is that when the lawmakers do get around to cutting funding (and if Bush doesn't have any positive results) that they will be so pissed off at him that they will be talking about forcing an overall withdrawl rather than simply blocking the escalation.
In Bush's speech he blamed Iran and Syria for much of the trouble in Iraq. This tactic flies in the face of the independent report that called for us to negotiate with Iran and Syria to help figure a solution. One analyst said that the recent raid on an Iranian embassy was designed to provoke Iran into doing something that the US could use an excuse to retaliate. The scary thing is that if Bush is determined to go his own way despite the lack of public and expert support, then why wouldn't he go ahead and bomb Iran and Syria?
Apparently one unit of the Iraqi army that the Iraqi goverment is promising to send to Bagdad is Kurdish. I've long admired the Kurds since they seemed like such underdogs and don't have their own country. But sending them into this mess - where as I understand it they don't speak Arabic and they are hated by both the Shiites and Sunnis - seems like a huge mistake. In a way it's a microcosm of sending US troops in. Both sides will stop shooting at each other and turn their guns on the Kurds and the US troops as soon as we show up.