Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 20, 2008

Eternal Exit Strategies

November 16, 2003 - Bush and Blair agree Iraq exit plan to end occupation

President George Bush and Tony Blair have agreed an exit strategy for pulling out of Iraq, officially ending the occupation next year while committing troops to the region until 2006.
British officials told The Observer that, although the occupation of Iraq would be over next year, it was likely that troops would need to stay, possibly until 2006. 'The whole process will take two to three years, as in Afghanistan,' said a senior Number 10 official closely involved in the Iraq negotiations.


May 5, 2004 - Blair sets target for Iraq exit strategy

Tony Blair set himself an 18-month target yesterday for pulling "substantial" numbers of British troops out of Iraq as he admitted that the crisis casts a "shadow" over support for his government.
For the first time, he outlined a timetable for a British "exit strategy". Within a year, he said, the Iraqis should have made enough progress to allow most British troops to go.


September 25, 2005 - Britain to pull troops from Iraq as Blair says 'don't force me out'

British troops will start a major withdrawal from Iraq next May under detailed plans on military disengagement to be published next month, The Observer can reveal.
The phased withdrawal strategy - the British side of which is expected to take at least 12 months to complete - would see UK troops hand over command responsibility for security to senior Iraqi officers, while remaining in support as a reserve force.


May 26, 2006 - Blair and Bush begin talks to work out exit strategy

Tony Blair and George Bush began crucial talks on strategy last night, after the installation of a new government in Baghdad. The talks were focused on the withdrawal of US and British troops from Iraq as quickly as possible.
London and Washington are desperately hoping the arrival of the new government under Prime Minister Nouri Maliki marks a turning point, where Iraqi troops will gradually take over full responsibility for security - if possible by the target date set out by Mr Maliki' the end of 2007.


February 21, 2007 - Blair Set To Announce Timetable For British Exit From Iraq

Prime Minister Blair will announce today a new timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, with 1,500 to return home in several weeks, the BBC reported.

Mr. Blair will also tell the House of Commons during his regular weekly appearance that a total of about 3,000 British soldiers will have left southern Iraq by the end of 2007, if the security there is sufficient, the British Broadcasting Corp. said, quoting government officials who weren't further identified.
Treasury chief Gordon Brown, who is likely to succeed Mr. Blair by September, has said he hoped several thousand British soldiers would be withdrawn by December.


July 20, 2008 - Brown sets out plan for UK pull-out from Iraq

Gordon Brown yesterday held out the prospect of a substantial withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, possibly as early as next year, when he outlined a four-point road map paving the way for an end to Britain's involvement.
His declaration, which could lead to the bulk of British forces leaving Iraq by the time of the general election in 2010, came 24 hours after the White House announced that the US and the Iraqi authorities had agreed a 'general time horizon' for the 'further reduction of US combat forces in Iraq'.


Month 00, 2009


Month 00, 2010


Month 00, 2011


Posted by b on July 20, 2008 at 11:09 UTC | Permalink


I commented elsewhere that the british political classes have a habit of promising stuff and not delivering, but I'd forgotten it was quite this bad.

Posted by: Helen | Jul 20 2008 13:12 utc | 1

aka Moving the goal posts.

aka Kicking the can down the road.

aka Sexing up the withdrawal.

Posted by: J. Ott | Jul 20 2008 15:19 utc | 2

It is apposite to study the english perfidy over 'withdrawal', because the team around soon to be prez Obama will be sifting through the arguments, stalling tactics, and the public reaction trying to get a sense of what works and what doesn't. All necessary tactics for 09 and on will be examined.
A compliant media is essential for this type of carry on and what could be more lick spittle in times of conflict than the english media, who appear to have never recovered from pushing out propaganda 1939-45. Only amerika's criging uriah heap journos come close, although I wonder if even they would hush up the kidnapping of five nationals in quite the same way as the british media has. Mmmmmn - Probably.

This here story sort of concedes that one of the five brit citizens taken hostage in Iraq back in May 07 has topped himself. Suicided after realising that no one wanted to know. Of course in doing so he has played right into the slug english government's hands. There is nothing they want more than to make these hostages go away. Preferably death by evil muslim henchmen, but suicide will do in a pinch.

The five don't appear to have any family or at least not any who care. Everyone has agreed to let the identities of the hostages remain secret and the normally pro-active english gutter press has made no attempt to uncover their identity despite having photos of them all. The five blokes made a few videos with their captors which haven't been broadcast in the west.

I guess that it is either a prerequisite of 'contract' employment in Iraq that you be a semi-sociopath with no caring friends or relatives or that is the sort of person who applies for the work.
That may be too harsh, friends and relatives are likely to have been pressured into submission. Time will tell if anyone does care for any of these blokes. Surely this latest event will cause any loved one/s to stop listening to their 'handlers' and start acting in their family's best interest. If they don't it would be fair to wonder just how 'seperated' from english military employment these five (well maybe just the four bodyguards) are. If pensions and housing are on the line one can understand (just) how a partner or significant other may be deceived into thinking that the government knows best.

That is a side issue, however. I doubt anyone who hasn't lived in england can fully comprehend how deliberately cold blooded the english ruling elite is so unashamedly proud to be. That is, that oft times they don't even have a need to conceal their callous lack of regard for humanity from those around them or even themselves. The only time a successful english pol sheds crocodile tears is when the media decides that they can sell a few more fishwraps by outing them. Although in the case of the leaders that is usually more of a brief glimpse of the cold heart ticking along, than a complete, guaranteed to career implode, expose.

Whats the betting Obama and co will be entranced by the possibility of real 'true life' lessons in being even more cold blooded and getting away with it? After all Obama has managed to segue thru Afghanistan without even acknowledging that amerikan troops ". . .killed at least four civilians, and possibly three others, in eastern Afghanistan. The deaths, in Paktika province, occurred when Western troops fired mortar rounds Saturday night that missed their target by about half a mile. Most of the Western troops in that region are Americans.

Or that the airforce he wants to utilise across the border in Pakistan even more than it already is, has been murdering freshly trained Afghani policemen
Clashes broke out between Afghan police and international troops in the Anar Dara district of Farah province, with both sides thinking the other were Taliban militants, the deputy provincial governor Mohammad Younus Rasuli said.

The foreign troops called in airstrikes on the police post that killed nine policemen and wounded four others, including the district police chief, he said.

Both NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the separate U.S.-led coalition force in Afghanistan said they were aware of an incident in Farah, but could not confirm any details of what had happened.

I mean fair enough, whitey saw curry munching islamo-fascists with guns so what were they meant to do? Kill them and since they appeared too competent to beat up, rape and slaughter in the usual fashion employed on women and children, whitey had no choice but to call in an airstrike on their asses. What's all the fuss about?
Sorry I exaggerate as always. There was no real fuss, this was just another day in the empire. Can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs now can we?

I'm sure the families of the afghani coppers can be made to understand one way or another, money or wired. What difference does a few more or less afghanis make anyhoo?

A bit of a problem since Afghanistan doesn't have CCTV hanging off every goat track intersection, - yet.
So Afghani police have to mingle in the community, which in turn, means the sociopaths currently favoured by western law enforcement aren't a starter there, - yet.

All of which means that there may be repercussions from the wanton slaughter of nine proteges of the 'New Afghanistan'.

Nothing gleeful there though. If there is one mob of ME people who have had a worse deal in the last 50 years than Iraqis, they would hafta be Afghanis. Stoic could be a word invented to describe Afghanis I reckon.


Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 20 2008 22:03 utc | 3

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