Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit to Baghdad this morning, hours after the White House alerted 35,000 more troops of impending deployment to the fractious capital. Cheney met with top general David Petraeus and top envoy Ryan Crocker, and is expected to consult with PM Maliki and other top officials today. It's his second trip to Iraq as VP.
Cheney is also expected to upbraid the legislature, which is preparing to take time off. "For the Iraqi parliament to take a two-month vacation in summer is impossible to understand," Crocker said. The violence in the country, meanwhile, has bled into once-docile Kurdistan, where a truck bomb this morning killed 19 people in Irbil.