The question on my mind is thus, will the Americans funk out? And the only thing I can say for sure, is that if they do, it will be an unparalleled disaster. For 9/11 itself was the payback for the last U.S. funk-out from its responsibilities as a superpower.
Yes. The good news is that even anti-war candidate Howard Dean seems to have figured that out:
We have no choice. It's a matter of national security. If we leave and we don't get a democracy in Iraq, the result is very significant danger to the United States. . . . bringing democracy to Iraq is not a two-year proposition.
Howard Dean is right. And he's the leading Democratic candidate at the moment. And that's bad news for the terrorists, whose only hope is that we'll fool ourselves into thinking otherwise, and give up before the job is done.
UPDATE: Tyler Cowen says 5 years is the necessary interval, citing RAND data. Advantage: Dean!
And read this, too. Reconstruction is expensive and dangerous. . . . Meanwhile here's praise for the anti-war movement.