On the modality of withdrawal, we should seek as best we can to determine the wishes of the Iraqi people.
It’s not easy to determine the opinions of people under military occupation, and though there are many western-run polls, they tend to evade the crucial questions. Nonetheless, we do have some information. In the most recent and extensive polls, on the issue of control over security, about 70% wanted Iraqis to take control and another 5% wanted the US-appointed Iraqi Government Council to take care of security. About 7% wanted US forces to take responsibility, and 5% “coalition” forces. There were no other choices, so we do not know opinions about UN and security. There are also interesting results on other matters.
One monster has been captured, but another remains. US-UK policies have vacillated over the years, but there has been one constant strain: Iraqis must not rule Iraq. They can be permitted nominal sovereignty, but under outside control: UK in the early years, US now. That is the perception of Iraqis today as well, so western-run polls reveal. That “monster” should also be overthrown from within. That’s our task. There is a remarkable struggle underway right now over who will rule Iraq. I am not referring to bombings, but to the steadfast refusal of Iraqis to accept the plans for their future of the overlord.