President Bush will spotlight what he sees as political and economic progress in Iraq during a speech today in Dayton, Ohio.
The speech comes amid some of the heaviest fighting in Iraq in weeks. The Iraqi government is cracking down on Shiite militiamen, particularly in southern Iraq. The resulting clashes have left dozens dead.
The Bush administration is praising the military action in Basra and Baghdad. The White House claims it's the kind of "bold" stand Iraq's Shiite-led government should take to establish its credibility. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley calls it an effort to reassert control in an area which, in his words, has become "pretty lawless."
Bush's speech at the Air Force Museum has been hastily changed to include praise of Iraqi security forces.