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Top Bush Administration Officials Meet to Discuss Situation in Iraq


President Bush is reviewing the situation in Iraq with civilian and military leaders at the White House Saturday.

The president, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are having a videoconference with top military commanders in the Middle East and Iraq.

Their meeting comes days after a U.S. military official in Iraq said the two-month-old operation to secure Baghdad is not going well. He called the spike in American casualties this month "disheartening."

Mr. Bush is under pressure from members of his own Republican Party, as well as Democrats, to revise his strategy for Iraq. In a letter to the president Friday, Democratic leaders said the steadily mounting sectarian violence, growing insurgency and escalating American casualty figures are unacceptable and unsustainable.

The White House meeting follows several polls that indicate the war in Iraq has become one of the main issues facing voters in next month's congressional elections. The surveys show a majority of Americans think Democrats would do a better job on Iraq and the war on terror.

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