So we can't bring the troops home NOW, right this minute.
Just technically, it would not be possible to evacuate 135 000 troops and sundry civilians (and God knows how many mercenaries) this afternoon.
Politically it is also not gonna happen with the GOPigs in charge of all three branches. The wingnuts have ramped the rhetoric up to the point where they can't climb down. Hell, they think things are going well in Iraq, why leave now? Anyone that questions the misAdministration's "plan" (that no-one will enumerate publicly) is branded a traitor and trashed in the media.
But the reality is that we will eventually leave Iraq. The questions are: When and How?
Scenario 1: We build huge military bases around Iraq including one in Baghdad that we call an embassy. 50 to 60 thousand of our troops are based there permanently and only travel from one base to another in heavy convoy, everywhere else is injun terrrrrrtory. Our bases would be in a constant state of siege, the insurgency growing to eventually include the entire population and foreign fighters recruited worldwide. Our Ambassador dictates to the Iraqi "Government" what it's policy is, making sure to keep tight control on the oil spigots.
This is the scenario most likely to bring on large scale terrorism, particularly here in the US, on the idea of hitting US here so we will stop hitting them over there.
As November draws near and the GOPigs prospects look grim, Rove needs a new war, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice decide to take out Iran's nuclear facilities with bunker-buster nukes. The entire world reacts in horror. The US is embargoed even by England. No-one will sell US a drop of Oil. Foreign Investors call their paper and won't or can't buy our debt. Our Navy is denied ports of call and our Airforce denied overflight and landing rights. 135 000 troops in Iraq are suddenly faced with, not just 20 000 insurgents they face today, but better than half the 30 million Iraqi people. Pinned down, outnumbered 1000:1, no fuel, no airlift, no troop ships, we'd be lucky to extract half of our troops alive, nevermind all the equipment we would leave behind. (that equipment, like the stuff we were forced to leave behind in VietNam, would become the basis for whatever militant force organizes out of the effort to expel America from Iraq, and like VietNam then goes on to raise Hell in the region for a decade.)
The economic collapse in this country resulting from embargo would bring about a second revolution in America. Removing the Thugs from office will be the only way that the rest of the world will start to alleviate the pressure. Putting them on trial (if they survive the removal) for their crimes against humanity will be the condition under which we can rejoin the civilized world.
Scenario 3: We set a timetable for withdrawal starting now with all of our forces out of Iraq by January of 2007 or July 2007 at the latest. That puts the political leaders of Iraq on notice as to when they will be responsible for running their country, that is: true sovereignty. It gives them a timetable to plan their transition on. We redeploy our troops, mostly home, some to Kuwait, some to Turkey. What happens next is up to the Iraqi people. It could be an intensification of the threeway (or fiveway or sixway) civil war that is already underway. It could be partitioning, with or without "ethnic cleansing". It could actually work out to a secular federal democracy (highly unlikely) or it could become some form of Theocracy. Whatever happens, it will not be helped by our intervention, we've already intervened far too much.