A friend writes with a scenario – U.S. and British forces invade and become bogged down in house-to-house fighting in Baghdad’s suburbs, taking and causing heavy casualties. There are very heavy civilian casualties that are well publicized by the European press. (Civilians initially refuse to enter shelters, remembering the 1991 U.S. bombing of a civilian shelter bunker with a “penetrator” bomb that incinerated everyone inside.)
The heavy casualties result in massive civilian protests in London, some erupting into riots. There is a no-confidence vote and Blair’s government falls. The new government withdraws British forces, leaving the U.S. alone and bogged down in urban street fighting.