There is no further doubt that the USA will be withdrawing soon, as indicated by President and his men who have made the following noises:
(1) Bush, who continues to insist that only victory will satisfy him in Iraq, said at the weekend that he was a ‘patient man’ when it came to supporting the Iraqi Government, but that his patience 'has limits'.
(2) Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, after meeting military commanders at the White House, said the plan was for the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their security ‘sooner rather than later’.
(3) Iraq is clearly a huge negative for the Republican Party in this [mid-term] election campaign, and everywhere its candidates are calling for ‘course correction’ in Iraq and for Iraqis to take control of their security needs, and quickly.
This is another way of saying - without mentioning ’cut and run’ - that if the Iraqis do not meet the challenge fast, the US should begin to pull out its forces anyway.
(4) Some time next month or early December James Baker's Iraqi Study Group is expected to recommend a significant change of policy. Baker, a secretary of state in the administration of George Bush snr, says his bipartisan group has not yet considered recommendations, but he has made it clear that he favours neither a policy of ‘stay the course’ nor one of ‘cut and run’.
(5) Key Republican senators such as the chairman of the armed services committee, John Warner, reinforced the growing view among senior Republican members of Congress that unless the Iraqi Government moved to take on the militias, it would become politically impossible for the US to keep its 140,000 troops in Iraq
In reality the Yanks are screaming ‘retreat’ in hubristic euphemisms, but retreat they will. Iraq is not only another ‘Vietnam’ for them in the sense of an impossible-to-defeat insurgency, but also for their eventual humiliation, the most powerful nation in the world defeated for the third time by an Asian (including Middle-eastern) country and forced to hightail it back to the USA in ignominy, with its tail between its hind legs.