|View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, April 15, 2004
It's good to see the European leaders not being craven enough to cave to what amounts to a demand for protection. Still, is it reasonable to look a little more closely at that deadline.
Three months from now is July 15, just after the handover of power. We still expect their to be Angloshperic troops in country, but a number of other countries have started to make noise about leaving after June 30. With Germany, France, and Russia not committing troops, and Spain having already promised to leave after June 30, one wonders to what extent this was a deadline chosen to manufacture a victory. Al Qaeda could easily claim that no attacks were staged against the major powers because they had all left. Further, they could claim that the cease-fire was accepted by countries merely by their leaving Iraq.
On the other hand, look for them to try something against Australia, the US, or Britain soon after that date. "Soon after" could mean, say, just before the Democratic Convention in August. A relatively large attack could be carried out against one or more of the smaller coalition partners, both as a "message," and as an attempt to repeat the effects of Madrid.
In fact, this is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the success of the Madrid bombings. Bin Laden, or whatever bin Laden impersonator is hiding behind the curtain, has learned the lesson: some democracies can be scared. So the Spaniards have something else to be proud of. This almost certainly explains the reference to governmental transitions:
Translation: expect the price of neutrality to go up.
No government could actually agree to this. Mostly because the governments in question thought they already had this deal. Then again, Saddam thought he had them bought, fair and square, too.