The Price of Surrender...
Vis-a-vis yesterday's rant about the "Surrender Now" crowd, I'd like to follow up and think a little bit about what packing up and leaving Iraq might cost us.
To begin with, we'd suffer a huge international black eye (even worse than what we've gotten already) if we leave Iraq a (bigger) basket case than it is already. We'd be in the same position as the European empires at the end of the Second World War, running off and leaving a trail of busted countries, cultures and governments in our wake. Morally, we have a responsibility to the Iraqi people to at least put things in some semblance of order and leave them in a position to fend for themselves. The United States is obligated, regardless of how long it takes or how much it costs. This point, I believe, stands on it's own, irregardless of what side of the war debate you stand on.
Cutting and running also encourages others who might have evil in their hearts to surmise that the United States doesn't have the stomach for a prolonged fight. The second we leave an Iraq still in the throes of disarray, we invite even more terrorist attacks as the terrorists at work today can claim victory for having chased the "Great Satan from the Holy Ground of Iraq". This is not the same as cutting and running on the South Vietnamese. The South Vietnamese government was corrupt sewer which deserved to be flushed down the toilet, and our enemies were not in a position to strike at he United States (the Russians were too sane, the Chinese too weak, and the Vietnamese too exhausted, at the time). The battle over Communism in SE Asia could be lost because in the end, there was no direct consequence to the United States, as opposed to the Vietnamese themselves, the Cambodians, the Laotians, etc. Leaving Iraq would have direct consequences for the US: although most countries in the Middle East couldn't muster enough military force to beat a troop of Boy Scouts with the runs, their wacky, Islamo-fascist citizens seem quite ready to martyr themselves on America's landmarks. Provided they can kill a bunch of us too, of course.