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16 November 2005
Are the USA & the UK looking for the exits?
The U.S. Senate Resolution that would have set a timetable for American withdrawal was defeated, but the Senate did pass a motion calling for a "phased withdrawal" of American forces.

The point about this is that the war against Iraq is still not quite three years old. In the case of Vietnam the Congress could not pass such a motion as late as 1971, a full nine years after the war against Vietnam had begun. Now the Senate can do something similar in less than three years. It has become a bit of a cliche, but this resolution and the casualty figures taken together really does suggest that this war is Vietnam on speed.

In the case of Britain, Tiny Tony has stopped talking about standing firm in the face of "terrorism" and now the line is that the British will leave next year unless violence prevents this from happening.

Obviously the creature is looking for a face-saving way out of an ever increasing disaster. If the violence can be spun as "acceptable," then the occupiers will leave and let the Iraqis sort things out for themselves.

Yes, well, I can see one big problem here. Tiny Tony's wheeze relies on the Americans staying the course until such time as the spinning is complete. If the casualty figures continue to rise, they may not want to do that. The Chimp will leave office in three years, so there is not much that anyone can do to him. Besides, his people can always say that they greased a few ragheads. A lot of his punters should buy into that one. Blair on the other hand seems to want to hand over control of a Labour government that has a good chance of winning the next election. He needs an orderly withdrawal more than the Chimp because far more of his reputation is at stake. Furthermore, a lot of his supporters still consider themselves to be left-wingers. A "we bashed the sand niggers and left them eating dust" line is hardly going to appeal to them.

What about the Iraqis? They now know that the invaders are looking for a way out. Are they going to allow an orderly withdrawal that would leave the Chimp and his little pet dog with something approaching their reputations intact? Or will they take the opportunity to inflict as many casualties as they can just to pay back old scores while there is still time? As the Duke of Wellington said in another place and time: "Come on Maitland, now's your chance! Up and at 'em!"

Update at 2.30am: Justin Raimundo claims that the dog to watch is not the Senate, but the House. A "bipartisan movement to set a definite timetable for U.S. withdrawal has been percolating for months. . ."
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