Well, it's a quagmire for the Brits, too, but at least they're relatively honest about it, as Reuters reports:
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Monday British troops were likely to stay in Iraq for years, possibly until 2007, to try to stabilize a country in the face of an insurgency against occupying forces....
Speaking on BBC radio a day after Prime Minister Tony Blair paid a surprise visit to British soldiers in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Straw said it was "a fact" that substantial numbers of troops would remain in Iraq for a long time to come.
"I can't give you an exact timescale ... but it's not going to be months, for sure," Straw said. Asked whether it would be years, he replied: "Yes, but I can't say whether it's going to be 2006 or 2007." ...
The Reuters story also makes clear that Thomas Friedman was right a week ago: the Poles really are trying to out-poodle the British. (No, he didn't put it exactly that way.) The Poles are hinting that NATO has gotten the Bush religion -- even though NATO is saying nothing of the sort:
Washington wants more countries to send troops to Iraq and is pressing for a greater role for NATO. Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said NATO could decide the issue in June.
"Talks are under way...A good moment to make certain decisions on the issue will be NATO's summit in Turkey in late June," he said at a farewell ceremony for troops heading to Iraq to relieve a 2,500-strong Polish contingent.
But new NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Afghanistan, not Iraq, was his first priority.
"Iraq of course will also be on the agenda at a certain stage but let's take the events step by step." Scheffer said as he arrived at NATO headquarters to take up his post.
Yeah, pipe down, Poland -- you're new here. You may want to help get Bush reelected, but what makes you think the rest of the alliance feels the same way?