13 November 2006
America options in Iraq: run later or walk now
As the Americans plans their cut and run from Iraq, one question has not been addressed by any of the media on either side of the Atlantic: If you were an Iraqi who watched the news, what would you do now?
It is possible that you might decide that now is the time to start supporting the American sponsored regime. On the other hand you might decide that its chances of survival once the Americans leave are about nil: yours too if you are a known supporter of that regime. Thus, you may conclude, it is time to wander down the street and have a chat with your local guerrilla contact and see if he will sign you up. Even if 90% of the new recruits don't actually do very much, that still leaves a potentially vast number of new recruits to the guerrilla army who will.
Even if you don't actually carry a rifle or plant a bomb, you are still a part of the vast army of sympathisers without whom any guerrilla force is doomed. When you see a guerrilla patrol pass your house you will wave to it and hope to God that the commander remembers your gesture after the war is over. Anything to avoid getting strung up like the collaborators. What you will not do is report the guerrillas presence to the Americans. Under no circumstances will you do that.
Given this likely scenario, what are the chances of the Americans managing to mount an orderly withdrawal from Iraq? The Democrats are talking about a phased withdrawal in the middle of next year. However, the ordinary Iraqi now has to prove that he did not collaborate; thus guerrilla attacks can be expected to mount. As that happens, pressure will grow within the USA to get the troops out sooner. As that happens, more guerrilla attacks will take place.
The end game is near.