Get out now!
Scott Ritter puts it bluntly--things may be bad if US troops leave Iraq, but they'll be worse if they stay.
Regardless of the number of troops the United States puts on the ground or how long they stay there, Allawi's government is doomed to fail. The more it fails, the more it will have to rely on the United States to prop it up. The more the United States props up Allawi, the more discredited he will become in the eyes of the Iraqi people - all of which creates yet more opportunities for the Iraqi resistance to exploit.You know Bush won't listen to Ritter--by why won't Kerry? Not only would it be the right thing to do, it would be popular! Aren't there a lot of 18 to 20 year olds out there who might actually decide to vote if there was a candidate who might keep them from getting drafted?
We will suffer a decade-long nightmare that will lead to the deaths of thousands more Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis. We will witness the creation of a viable and dangerous anti-American movement in Iraq that will one day watch as American troops unilaterally withdraw from Iraq every bit as ignominiously as Israel did from Lebanon.
The calculus is quite simple: the sooner we bring our forces home, the weaker this movement will be. And, of course, the obverse is true: the longer we stay, the stronger and more enduring this byproduct of Bush's elective war on Iraq will be.
There is no elegant solution to our Iraqi debacle. It is no longer a question of winning but rather of mitigating defeat.