1) We’ve stopped one of the major terrorist sponsoring states in the region, and rounded up several leaders of terrorist organizations.
2) We’ve killed thousands of militant islamo-wackos, a small start, but a start. If we’d pulled out as soon as the Iraqi government had toppled Iraq would definitely be another Ashcanistan.
3) We now have a major military base in the mid-east that ain’t in Saudi.
4) We’ve removed the principal sponsor of Palestinian terrorists. Saddam was a powerful symbol for them, and provided money and training as well.
5) Just the reforms that have happened to date are putting serious pressure on Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. If things continue to improve the pressure on them builds.
1) No, we haven’t. Iraq was number five, at most, behind Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Egypt. Iraq wasn’t funding anyone except the Palestinian Authority. Of course, so was he United States.
2) Afghanistan turned into Afghanistan after a decade of Soviet occupation. What makes you think Iraq won’t regardless of how long we stay there? It is estimated that 10 percent of the global Muslim population is sympathetic to the jihad. Since the Soviet butchery in Afghanistan and Chechnya hasn’t exactly proved dissuasive to this point, I don’t think a few thousand more can be considered as amounting to much.
3) As you note, we already had plenty of bases in the Middle East. Why did we need to leave our bases in Saudi Arabia? Why will the new Iraqi government, or the next Iraqi government, prove to be any more cooperative regarding our bases there? How are the new bases indicative of more protection than the old ones?
4) Total nonsense. We are personally guaranteeing the safety of the most powerful symbol of the Palestinian terrorists. We are also helping pay his salary.
5) This has nothing to do with America being safer now than five years ago.
I note that none of these addresses my point that none of our actions in Iraq has made America one iota safer from terrorist attack than before. Simply refusing to provide visas to terrorist-sponsoring countries would have accomplished more. This is neither a defensive war against the global jihad nor preparation for it, instead, the administration has weakened the national resolve for any such future conflict.
But then, I don’t expect anything but incompetence and unintended consequences from the Federal government anyhow, so I’m not exactly surprised. Tolstoy addresses this rather nicely in his section on administrators. More on that later.