September is likely to be put-up-or-shut-up time for supporters of the Iraq war, legislators from both parties tell the Washington Post. Gen. David Petraeus has said he will have a sense of whether the surge is working by then, and lawmakers want a clearer picture of America's future involvement before the fiscal year begins October 1.
September also coincides with Ramadan. If the now-traditional wave of Iraqi violence recurs this year, it will be hard for the administration to argue that increased troop levels are having an effect. "There is a sense that by September, you've got to see real action on the part of Iraqis," says Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican.