Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Take the Ball and Go Home

So, now the new rumor is that the Bushies are planning to start withdrawing from Iraq in March. This jibes with Bush's rumored "no more fatalities after March" demand.

I have no doubt that right now the strategy is to find some way to at least appear as if they're withdrawing, though how they'd pull that off I have no idea.

UPDATE: Reader lt writes in:

If you want to know how Bush will make it look like they're pulling the troops out of Iraq, but not actually do it, read what I wrote to a friend on Oct 9, 2003:

I strongly suspect that Bush's recent move to bring "control" of the whole Iraq mess into the White House and give it to the clearly less than capable and very un-military Condi Rice is the first shot in a one year plan that will go something like this: they'll pressure the Iraq Governing Council to spit out a "constitution" by early next spring. They will hold some sort of fake "election" in the early summer. Along about August, Bush will declare that our forces have been "victorious" against the forces of evil, that Iraq is "stable," and that "our troops are coming home." TV screens beginning the week before the Republican convention until November will be filled with shots of returning troops being welcomed by loved ones. Sometime in October, they’ll bring back the remnants of an actual division or brigade – civilians don’t know the difference and couldn’t care less -- and Bush will be head cheerleader for a parade in some state he’s behind in. By the end of October, there will be a far more sober "mission accomplished" photo op, maybe at Arlington, “honoring the brave” who gave their lives, and Bush will gravely announce that our job is done and our troops are continuing to return home, and the TV screens will show yet even more teary-eyed wives being hugged by returning troops...

Meanwhile, since no one will be doing an actual, on-the-ground count, there wil still be 100,000 or so troops in Iraq and another 25,000 or so parked in Kuwait and another 15,000 or so in the region stationed at Air Force bases and on ships in the Gulf.

The whole thing will be a “reality” TV show scripted by Rove – “Survivor” for the political classes, “Fear Factor” for the troops hired as extras still facing daily attacks.

That's roughly what I had in mind, but I just don't think they can get away with it. If they could pull the troops down to about 40,000 and the daily body bag stops happening, sure, but otherwise...