Lots of rumors
.... again .... of Bush declaring victory and withdrawing the troops from Iraq.
This certainly wouldn't be a surprise given the upcoming midterm elections. And Froomkin makes the point that there's now a "permanent government" and that we just got Zarqawi (although al Qaeda in Iraq has announced a new leader
), so why not leave on a "high note"? Why not indeed.
A move like this would sure make sense politically. But I wonder if the U.S. could withdraw without having the chaos/civil war in Iraq get even worse? And how would the GOP spin the Dems accusing Bush of abandoning Iraq to chaos? Of course, the GOP can spin anything. That's what they do. But what about the neocon goal of establishing a beachhead in the middle east ... and now a counter to Iranian influence within Iraq?
Here's my best guess (which, along with $4.00 will get you a venti soy mocha at you know who), Bush will draw down the troops in Iraq between now and fall to somewhere between 50K and 75K. These troops will remain sequestered in isolated bases and will provide air support when called upon
. American IED deaths will diminish, but there will be continued assaults on the American bases in addition to continued civil war within the country. The GOP will declare victory and the Iraqi puppet government will bounce along. Somewhere along the line (the not too distant future), the government will collapse and the U.S. will have another decision to make as Islamists begin to take over. And much like the Dems handed over Vietnam to the Republicans, the Republican will hand the war over to Democrats who will have to get us out "with honor" .... somehow.
Enter Hillary Clinton .......God I wish I could be more optimistic about the international situation.