I always have mixed feelings about explosive reports about U.S. politics and policy coming from the British press. At their best, the UK papers cut through some of the baloney that mesmerizes the White House press corps; at worst, sometimes they don't seem to know what they're talking about.
That said, I give you this article from Patrick Coburn of the UK Independent, who's been around for a while:
The news of this article -- if correct -- is explosive. As for the interpretation, am I badly misjudging the mood of America, or am I right in thinking that a revealed plan for a number of permanent bases in Iraq would NOT help John McCain capture the presidency? Wouldn't it cripple him with moderate voters who want to see almost all U.S. troops come home, if not on Jan. 20, 2009 then in relatively short order? Also, as I think the article strongly suggests, reaction to this plan in Sadr City will be more important than the reaction from voters in Peoria.
As this new poll out today shows yet again, George W. Bush is the most unpopular American president in our lifetime, and arguably of the last century. Would a long term deal between such a widely loathed lame duck president and a hanging-by-a-thread prime minister in Baghdad really work?
One other weird thing about the article: Nowhere does it mention the word "oil." Does anyone really think oil has nothing to do with our strategy over there?