- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Politics

Iraq: Invade In Haste, Repent At Leisure

27 October 2006

We've all done things we regret. Fortunately for most of us they tend to be of the 'I *knew* I shouldn't have taken a can of Stella into the job interview' variety, not 'Shit, I really shouldn't have invaded that country.'

But the US seems to be moving toward a long-overdue realisation that the occupation of Iraq might have been a mistake. This week a spokesman for George Bush made the creepily ambiguous statement 'This is not "stay the course" but constant motion.' Meanwhile General George Casey, the US commander in Iraq, said that in 12-18 months the Iraqi security forces would emerge as 'the dominant force in Iraq'.

Can you see what it is yet? Yep, it's an exit strategy, or at least the ground being prepared for one.

It's hard to imagine that the US military commander in Iraq makes such pronouncements without the say-so of his political masters, so it seems that the Bush administration is finally getting ready to pull American troops out of Iraq. If nothing else, this is good news for US grunts and Our Lads in Basra, but it's unlikely that many ordinary Iraqis are relishing the prospect of all-out civil war and a scramble to power between Baathists and Islamic fundamentalists, amongst others.

The reasons for these tentative hints at withdrawal are pretty obvious. This month 90 US troops were killed in Iraq and a further 400 or so were injured, according to The Independent. A recent poll suggests that the American public is waking up to this in a big way: two thirds believe the Iraq invasion to have been a mistake.

Of course, the idea that the Iraqi security forces will be able to maintain order in 18 months is total bollocks. Iraq is hopelessly divided, with different government ministries divvied up into the control of different factions, most of whom have their own militia. It's like the Department of Health being controlled by the IRA, while the Home Office is controlled by the UVF. In addition, only one battalion of Iraqi troops was recently deemed to be capable of operating independently of US help. Even this turned out not to be true: their status was downgraded and they're currently backed up by US forces. Things were oppressive under Saddam, things are chaotic now, and we can only speculate what things will be like in 18 months.

To screw up on this monumental scale is not something we'd like to have on our consciences. Happily, the Bush administration seem not to actually have consciences, which makes things a lot easier.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free

Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved