| I happen to believe that "staying the course" is a dead-end road, and we are wearing blinders in a shooting gallery if we don't explore all options.
One aspect of the war in Iraq is how we seem to be protecting the Sunni insurgents, hoping against hope that the Shiite majority has any inclination to share power with a minority who had it good under Saddam. In a news report yesterday from Jordan, there are thousands and thousands of Saddamist/Baathist who will continue to reject Shiite rule in Iraq, and as long as we remain we are caught in the crossfire from these and others who will feed the insurgency.
Another aspect is how our leadership must feel that somehow a "democratic" government in Iraq might be more friendly to U.S. interests than Iranian interests. Besides what I stated above as wishful thinking for a "rational" sharing of political power (and oil fields) between Shiites and Sunnis, any Iraq government will still have a decidedly Shiite majority. What dream world is Bush/Cheney/Rice contemplating to think that Shiites in Iraq will favor the U.S. over a Shiite Iran in any sense of the word "favor"?
Lastly, I asked a question about the empty threat from Saudi Arabia to use their military (as it is) force to come to the aid of the Sunni minority in Iraq. Since many of the insurgents in Iraq now, as well as a wide money trail, lead back into KSA, they are, in a way, doing so already. What is your view about the any ramifications of our troops leaving Iraq having an affect on the wider threat from Al Queda - particularly in relationship to the House of Saud. And would the House of Saud ever make an overt military challenge to any "harsh treatment" of Sunni Iraqis at the hands of a Shiite controlled government, Al Sadr Militia, or just revenge seeking Shiites?
It is my opinion the The House of Saud is in the greatest "pickle" with an almost assured Shiite run government in Iraq (with the worst scenario being a Sharia law theocracy). It emboldens the homegrown Al Queda types to force the Royal Sauds hand by either continuing a cross-border insurgency, or facing an internal one in KSA. The House of Saud has been very adept at keeping a lid on internal threats to its power - mainly by turning a blind eye to the terrorist acts of their own citizens in other countries (9/11 with 14 of 19 hijackers). If this strategy continues in Iraq after American forces leave, what will a Shiite Iraq (backed by Iran) do in response? Especially since the avowed goal of every Shiite is to become the "Custodians of the Holy Mosques (Mecca and Medina)" in place of the corrupt House of Saud.
I might have touched a raw nerve of anyone wearing blinders, but I am a believer in having a 360 degree view as much as possible.