I wish I was more optimistic about this, but the three most likely “best case” scenarios I see for the “early” withdrawal of our troops are as follows:
First, Bush bombs Iran, causing our troops to come under such ferocious attacks from both Iran itself and outraged Iraqi Shiites that staying in Iraq becomes untenable. Unfortunately, our troops don’t get to come home, since other wars pop up around the region due to the destabilizing effect of the attack on Iran.
Second, congressional Republicans panic as the election draws near, withdrawing their support for the war in mass. Bush refuses to back down, but an antiwar consensus forms that paves the way for a decision to withdraw being reached shortly after the election in November of 2008: our troops are gradually drawn down over the course of the following year.
Third, congressional Republicans (and GOP presidential candidates) stand strong for the war all the way to Election Day: the general public slaughters pro-war candidates of both parties, with by far the biggest blow falling on the GOP. This causes Beltway insiders to finally come to terms with the fact that continuation of the war isn’t politically feasible: our troops are gradually drawn down over the course of the following year.
Best-case scenario overall: our troops are out of Iraq by November 2009.
Worst-case scenario overall: in 10 years I drive my son (currently 8-years-old) to Canada to keep him from being drafted and sent to Iraq.
So what do you think?