The Bush Administration keeps crying about the dissenters who want the U.S. to pull out of Iraq. They say, if we pull out now the job won't be finished, and it will only embolden the Terrorists who will think the U.S. is weak and they'll just launch more attacks inside the U.S.
The Missing Links offers an interesting opposing view.
The fighting in Iraq "has little if anything to do with al-Qaeda or the global jihad" instead "it involves rival Muslim sects killing each other and, all too often, American troops caught in the middle." Rather than being a way for American forces to kill off the Terrorists but instead it is an incubator for terrorists "both because the occupation arouses anti-American sentiment among many Muslims and because the current lawless violence makes for a perfect training ground in terror tactics."
Hence, wouldn't the U.S. be safer if we just let the Iraqi's make their own way in the world? It would give the fighting less reason to exist, and whatnot.
As tempting as that may be I'd be real nervous about pulling out of Iraq now. To be clear, I am totally against this war. As the U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said, this is an illegal war that the U.S. is waging in Iraq. It is morally indefensible, because there was zero truth to the allegations used to launch the war. It is completely stupid, because it is distracting from the real problem, namely the terrorists who did launch the attacks in September 2001, and who were able to get away when they were rousted from Afghanistan.
So pulling out of Iraq makes some amount of sense. If we have little moral or legal or rational right to have launched the war, then why continue it?
Well, there is the question of the chaos and the lack of a strong Iraqi government. At the moment it is the American forces who are maintaining any semblance of law and order. If the U.S. forces were to withrdraw today, it seems to me the fighting between factions would only escalate into a full scale civil war. The country would fall even further into lawlessness and it's hard to imagine anything remotely good even coming from that.
It's a tough situation believing that America is wrong to have launched this war, but to have to follow it through to the end regardless of its illegality.