Timetables: The Key to a Temporary Peace
I'll be the first conservative to state it: a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq will indeed promote peace. And by peace, I mean that bombings will taper off over a period of maybe 2-4 months. Anti-Iraqi and native insurgent elements will seem to vanish, and Iraq will indeed appear to have benefitted from a pull out of U.S. troops.
It's like taking a knee in the 4th quarter in a football game. One team, eager to prevent the other from gaining an advantage in the last few minutes of a game will run out the clock and at the last second to snap the ball, will do so, and then the quarterback will take a knee, keeping the clock running, but taking away every hope that the other team has for a last-minute turnover. Because the clock is a powerful substitute to complete effort.
In this situation the insurgents, by their own admission through their now deceased leader, were doing poorly before his death. But in order to have any hope of victory, they must keep pressure on the coalition forces. Failure to do that means that funding and physical support may dry up--nobody wants to support the losing side. But if al Qaida in Iraq has a timetable, it will know that there will come a time when it will be largely unopposed.
There will be a few bombings here and there for effect once a timetable is implemented, but it will taper and eventually expire. But once withdrawal is complete, they will re-emerge, much better rested, better equipped, and ready to make trouble for an Iraqi military that was left to figure out for itself how to combat a determined clandestine terror organization operating and shielding itself among civilians.
And those calling for a pullout will be able to watch from the comfort of their living rooms how the peace that seemed so clear as we pulled out before achieving our goals, so suddenly and so curiously crumbled. A poor way to repay the Americans, Iraqis, British and others who gave their lives for a free and peaceful Iraq.
But that is of little concern to those who have no understanding or appreciation of the very hard work we are doing in that critical nation.