Saturday, May 15, 2004

Declaring victory and leaving 

Bloggers like Kevin Drum are wondering what Powell means when he says the US will leave Iraq if the new government asks them to.
Here's what it means:
June 30 -- tranfer to a new government
July 1 - new government establishes its credibility by asking US to leave "as soon as possible, though we still need your help to clean up the security situation"
July 2 - US announces it will pull its armies out of Iraq "as quickly as possible, given the present security situation" and promises that just about everyone will be home by Christmas (except, of course, for those who will be manning the Pentagon's four new permanent bases in Iraq which are needed for continuing "clean-up operations")
July 3 - US newspapers all cheer wildly, public heaves a sigh of relief
July 4 - Bush gives major Independence Day speech at southern army base or maybe even at Centcom, announcing that a grateful nation loves its troops and welcoming their return as quickly as possible, except for "cleanup operations". Behind him we see a new banner "Democracy Accomplished"
July 5 - Bush approval ratings spike back up to 60 per cent.
July 6 - Media outlets pull most of their correspondents out of Iraq.
July 7 and on - Whether the soldiers actually come home or not, the "loss" in Iraq is off of everyone's news radar. Continuing US military activity in Iraq will be described relentlessly as "clean-up operations".

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