I have to admit, I initially supported the Iraq War back in 2003. I listened to the war propaganda, and while I didn't believe the whole uranium bit, I was hopeful that we would finally prove the UN wrong and get all the WMD. I chose to ignore the fact that we gave him the WMD in the first place, but it wouldn't be hard for an evil genius like Saddam to make some more.
So the war dragged on, and we didn't find the WMD. Well, at the very least, I thought, we were liberating them, correct? Unfortunately, Rumsfeld ignored the advice of senior commanders to use the number of troops required to pacify a nation the size of Iraq. "Shock and Awe" would be enough to bring down Saddam Hussein, and the people would rise up and spontaneously create a new, peaceful, democratic, multicultural government. Then I watched in horror as these newly "liberated" people proceeded to pillage their own museum without nary a US soldier in sight. Since the Iraqi army disbanded, it was up to Iraqi Citizens to take up arms and patrol their own neighborhoods, and soon an insurgency set in.
Well, I thought, if we just ship some more troops over there, drastically lower the unemployment, and provide basic security, the country will right itself. Unfortunately, all the sweet sweet contracts assigned to Iraq go towards hiring Americans at over 100 grand apiece. Some of these hires were going towards outsourcing duties the army ordinarily performed, at much lower costs than private contractors. Of course, we COULD have hired a dozen Iraqi's for the same price to do a lot of the reconstruction and truck driving. Perhaps the administration cynically never trusted the Iraqis to rebuild their country? Regardless, massive unemployment likely fueled the insurgency, as pissed off young men tend to want to break things when unemployed.
Allright, fine. So we screwed up on the reconstruction front. And we don't nearly have enough people patrolling the country. Well, at least from an imperial standpoint, we have their oil right? Well, instead of nationalizing their oil industry and selling off the crude to the highest bidder to repay for the war and reconstruction effort (as promised) we simply let foreign corporations come in and do the drilling operations as they please. I'm not being anti-capitalist, I'm just pointing out that we gave away their oil reserves without conditions for paying back the American Taxpayer or the Iraqi Government. Also, due to the aforementioned lack of policing, the pipelines are constantly bombed. The end result is that to fill a tank of gas where I live it costs $3.50 per gallon (I live in Chicago), so the Iraq War didn't put a dent in my gas bill as promised. Also, the American Taxpayer is stuck with the 10 billion monthly tab. As a comparison, the experimental fusion reactor in France, which will lead us to true energy independence, costs just 12 billion US dollars.
So where does that lead us now? I say just give up, and bring the boys home. Sure, that does sound like cowardice, but at this point, it's the most rational thing to do. Yes, people will die, but people will die regardless if we stay there or not. Eventually one of the three ethnic groups in the country will assert dominance over the other two, and stability will be restored. If and when they are ready for a democracy, they will have one, because at this point, we can't afford to force it down their throats.
I would also like to point out how this war has eroded our civil liberties, and how the Abu Ghraib Scandal helped to tarnish our reputation, and made us lose the moral high ground when it comes to things such as torture and the Geneva Convention.
The knee-jerk reaction in this election cycle will be to elect Hillary Clinton to pull us out of this mess, but don't be fooled. Hillary Clinton is not anti-war. The three truly anti-war and anti-Patriot Act candidates are Dennis Kucinich (Democrat), Mike Gravel (Democrat), and Ron Paul (Republican).