Before the 1972 election, Henry Kissinger announced that peace negotiations with the North Vietnamese were near a breakthrough. The emptiness of that announcement - the cynical abuse of people's hopes for electoral advantage - became clear after the election, with renewed bombing at Christmas, and the U.S. incursion into Cambodia.
I was very much reminded of that time, this time in advance of congressional elections, by the latest Iraq announcement from Britain:
The United States and Britain are planning to pull all their troops out of Iraq by the spring of 2007, two British newspapers reported in their Sunday editions, quoting unnamed senior defense ministry sources.
The Sunday Telegraph said the planned pull-out followed an acceptance by the two governments that the presence of foreign troops in Iraq was now a large obstacle to securing peace.
"The British government is understood to be the driving force behind the withdrawal plan but all 24 coalition members are likely to welcome the move, given the growing international unpopularity of the war," the Telegraph said.