And now some fresh pickings from the wartime grapevine:

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Stay Until Stable and Secure
Despite a surge of violence against U.S. troops in the past week, Iraq's first public opinion poll by Iraqis themselves in at least 25 years shows 65 percent of Baghdad residents want U.S. troops to stay until Iraq is stable and secure. Only 17 percent of those in Baghdad want U.S. forces to leave immediately, according to reports from Reuters and CBS on a poll conducted by the independent Iraqi Institute of Strategic Studies (search). The poll also shows that 73 percent of Baghdad residents say the United States has failed to bring security to the city. And 94 percent say the coalition's postwar reconstruction efforts have been inadequate, with only 1 percent saying they're satisfied with those efforts.

Denies Deeds
And remember George Galloway (search), the British Member of Parliament we told you about two months ago who has been accused of being on Saddam Hussein's payroll? Galloway has consistently denied the allegations. Well, the Christian Science Monitor, which said it had found documents in Baghdad showing Galloway was paid $10 million to promote the former Iraqi regime's interests in the West, has now retracted its report, saying it has now determined that the documents it used for the report are "almost certainly forgeries." But London’s Daily Telegraph, the first to say Galloway was on Hussein's payroll, is still standing by its story.

By the Letter...
President Bush's chief political adviser, Republican Karl Rove (search), has received a letter at home asking him to contribute money for next year's congressional races, money to help Democrats defeat Republicans in the House of Representatives, whom the letter says are pushing an "irresponsible right-wing agenda." The mass-mailed letter is signed by Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi and includes Rove's own committee membership card. In the letter, Pelosi says she's willing to bet she and the recipient "share at least one important belief: The conviction that this nation would be better served, and our government far more just, if Democrats controlled the congressional agenda." We're willing to bet Karl Rove does not share that view.