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An October Surprise

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Depending on the fate of Senator Joe Lieberman on Tuesday, it should come as no surprise to anyone when (not if) the Bush administration announces a dramatic plan to exit Iraq sometime before the Congressional elections this fall.

As an increasing number of Republican Members of Congress confront unhappy, sometimes angry, constituents finally fed up with the absence of purpose in the continued U.S. occupation and the death and dismemberment of young American troops for no purpose having to do either with combating the jihad or making the U.S. secure, they will demand White House rescue for their political careers.

Since, with precious few exceptions, political careers trump principle, and since the cabal of neoconservatives and the religious right intend to govern forever, the genius Karl Rove will concoct a patently phony Iraq exit strategy.

But even as President Bush rolls out the bogus plan in the Rose Garden, surrounded by trembling Congressmen, and claims "victory" in Iraq, work will continue around the clock on the American fortress in central Baghdad and on the permanent military garrisons in the countryside.

It was all forecast years ago in the final scene of the movie Three Days of the Condor when the CIA official Higgins explains to the naive CIA research character portrayed by Robert Redford: "Of course it's about the oil. Do you think the American people care how we get it? They just want us to get it."

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