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By Tom Hayden
Central to the Bush-Petraeus Iraq strategy is to pacify and confuse American public opinion during the 2008 elections, an approach Gen. Petraeus calls "slowing down the American clock" to gain time for the counterinsurgency to continue. This week's events in Basra suggest that US strategy is collapsing amidst its own contradictions.
This is the most important opportunity for critics to question the "surge" since it began last year.
Here is what is happening.