US Iraq envoy warns of growing voter impatience

The departing US ambassador to Iraq said on Monday that he believed the Middle Eastern country was heading in the right direction, but cautioned that Iraqi leaders must understand that US voters were increasingly impatient with the war. Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leaving his post after 21 months that had seen a massive increase in violence in Baghdad overall, declared that insurgent and militia attacks had decreased by 25 percent in the six weeks since the start of US-Iraqi security plan on February 14. "I know that we are an impatient people, and I constantly signal to the Iraqi leaders that our patience, or the patience of the American people, is running out," said the Afghan-born Khalilzad, who has been nominated by US President George W. Bush as American ambassador to the United Nations.