CREAKING ALONG….For what it’s worth, the Guardian claims that ? in private ? everyone wants to get out of Iraq:
Ambitions for Iraq are being drastically scaled down in private. A Foreign Office source said the goal of the US administration to turn Iraq into a beacon of democracy in the Middle East had long ago been shelved. “We will settle for leaving behind an Iraqi democracy that is creaking along,” the source said.
….The “drawdown” of troops would be done in stages, and the US wants to keep four air bases in Iraq. But this is not part of some strategic plan for mastery of the Middle East. The Foreign Office plays it down, saying the bases are less important than those in Gulf states such as Qatar and Bahrain. Like its other ambitions for Iraq, the US has scaled down this plan and Britain is happily backing it, in the hope of an early exit.
Personally, I’d be delighted at the prospect of a “democracy that is creaking along” in Iraq, but that’s looking less likely all the time. Still, if it’s true that the Americans want to withdraw and leave a few airbases, the British want to withdraw and leave a few airbases, and even Juan Cole wants to withdraw but leave a few airbases, maybe that’s what we should do.