Andrew Sullivan and Kevin Drum argue that September will definitely, absolutely, positively be the final "critical moment" for Iraq. Forget all those other moments. This one is the real deal. If progress doesn't happen by then, Sullivan says, we'll finally have "national cloture on the matter."

But I'm still confused as to what, exactly, is supposed to happen in September. Plenty of bloggers have flagged this Washington Post story, noting that military commanders are planning to continue the "surge" until April. Petraeus will no doubt appear before Congress and explain that we're turning yet another corner. Wayne Gilchrest has said that some "30 to 60" House Republicans secretly oppose the surge, and it's possible that they'll suddenly flip in September and decide to push for withdrawal, but the main pressure they're facing comes from the GOP base, which shows no signs of getting tired of the war--or even acknowledging that things might be going badly. It's hard to see how any of this will change until, at the very least, Bush leaves office.

--Bradford Plumer