The invasion and occupation of Iraq was just plain stupid. It was unnecessary, poorly planned and badly executed. If George Bush wasn't a fool, he certainly made foolish decisions. As for Rumsfeld, he was criminally incompetent.
Hindsight is a wonderful tool. But ninety percent of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq. And nearly every Democrat either strongly and passionately supported the war or were too cowardly to actively oppose it. We should and must deeply respect those who opposed the invasion before it began, but we should also forgive those who mistakenly supported the invasion.
But what about today? The world and the Middle East are vastly different today that they were six years ago. And our ill begotten invasion and occupation of Iraq are part of the reason for the different dynamics at play.
But we cannot undo the last six years. This isn't golf and we don't get a mulligan. Instead we must play the ball where it lays. And it lays in the slowly healing Iraq.
New leadership in the military and in the Department of Defense have reprogrammed our approach to Iraq. Finally a solution to the failed state is building, as it must, from the ground up. A very, very gradual pull down of troops has begun. But the foundation is fragile.
And the enemies of America are genuinely terrifying. If the political forces fighting so very, very hard to engineer a forced pull out of American troops from Iraq would look dispassionately at the enemy they would see an organization so vile, so evil, so ruthless that their daily operating tactics violate not just the Geneva Convention, but every value and moral ever cherished by every single human society throughout history.
George Bush has never even imagined the types of sadistic and evil torture practiced every minute of day by these ...... people ........ [What can we call them??? There simply isn't a word in any language for this level of evil.] Targeting children. Killing teachers. Brainwashing followers into suicide murder. Thousands (yes, you read that number right) of torture chambers where generally innocent people are slowly starved, cut, bled and beaten to death, often for no purpose what-so-ever.
Televised beheadings? At least they have a purpose, They are designed to incite fear.
But the real issue is Iran. While Bush screwed up with invading Iraq and providing textbook lessons in how not to occupy a country, Iran has emerged as the leader in the Middle East. And now even conservative estimates give Iran nuclear weapons in just one year.
And there are, in fact, no solutions to Iran, no options, even in Bush's far reaching playbook. Posturing and bluffing are the best the west can do and, frankly, Iran knows the drill.
So we face a nuclear Iran. Period. There are no options. Bush will not bomb. Bush cannot invade. Israel will not be our proxy. Period.
Given these facts, and they are facts, the only logical, intelligent course is to stay and rebuild Iraq from the ground up. A strong, democratic, Iraq is the only solution, even if it take years. The United States must maintain significant forces in Iraq until that job is done.