We have heard much from the right about not "cutting and running" or "leaving before the job is done" in Iraq. These false constructs make for nothing but a "damn the torpedoes" approach and make no allowance for lessons learned and changing tactics quickly. It has been the enemy doing the adapting and overcoming.
If we must oversee the creation of a stable Iraqi democracy and make the case that leaving will not cause a rise in violence, then we should plan on staying as long as we have in Korea. In the context of the current middle east, no Jeffersonian democracy is possible and it is sheer lunacy to think there won't be a strong anti-American sentiment for a couple of generations. Whether we are talking about the Shia-Sunni sectarian violence (often just a front for long-standing tribal rivalries settled only by violence) or the Sunni insurgency, the struggle between al-Sadr's minions and the Badr Organization, or even the growing audacity of the Kurdish seperatists, Iraq is in chaos and is effectively not governed. We will face the same choice about the likely rise in violence or Iran's influence 3, 5 or 10 years from now. I just want to know, what is there beyond blind hope to suggest that this will get better if we stay?
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