So, Britain is pulling it's troops out of Iraq. Surely the sensible option, though not for the reasons the U.S. claims. Members of the Bush administration have stated that the British withdrawal is a "victory", as it indicates the increasing stability in Iraq. (To quote Dick Cheney - any excuse will do! - "I look at it and see it is actually an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well").
Proving that whilst Saddam may be dead, at least part of his legacy lives on. Every time he had the crap bombed out of him through the 1990s, he would afterwards proclaim it a "magnificent victory" for Iraq. (Always a useful tactic if you're on the losing side of a punch up - pick youself up, dust yourself off, and proclaim to your attacker, "That showed you!").
The U.S. had to put a positive spin on the British withdrawal, of course. The alternatives being admitting the situation in Iraq is a catastrofuck, and/or saying to the British, "Okay, run off and leave us now, you weasels! Oh, but you will be there when we invade Iran, won't you?"
Back in this sunburnt country, things are no less silly. Our own John Howard has stated that the British withdrawl is justified because conditions in southern Iraq have improved, yet to withddraw Australian troops from the same region would be "a victory for the terrorists". And I hope Kevin Rudd continues his good work by pouncing on Howard today. Just between you and me, I'm beginning to suspect that as well as being duplicitous, heartless and bigoted, John Howard is actually beginning to go insane. I'll leave it at that for now, but will have a lot more to say soon.
In any case, it looks like 2007 will be the year of magnificent victories all around.