It has been claimed by many bloggers, as well as people posing as American reporters, that the violence in Iraq would be gone if America would just leave. In reality the truth is much more complex than the soundbites we are so apt to latch on to. The fact that mayhem and destruction by Islamic lunatics occur in places other than Iraq belies the claim that America is to blame for the violence in Iraq.
A web site I noticed claims that the American military is responsible for at least 39,000 Iraqi deaths. When you drill down into the events that are blamed on America, they very frequently deal with Sunnis killing Shia' and Shia' exacting retribution. No one said that web sites had to tell the truth, but it sure would be nice.
The recent killings in India, as well as forays by the Iran-sponsored Hizbshaitan (formerly known as Hizballah, the party of God) illustrate clearly that if the United States leaves Iraq (and similarly if Israel gives up Gaza) Islamic lunatics will not quit until either a report comes down from heaven that all the virgins are gone, or everyone is Muslim.
Thomas Friedman, one of the few bright spots at the New York Times has this to say about what's going on in the Middle East:
What we are seeing in Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon is an effort by Islamist parties to use elections to pursue their long-term aim of Islamizing the Arab-Muslim world. This is not a conflict about Palestinian or Lebanese prisoners in Israel. This is a power struggle within Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq over who will call the shots in their newly elected "democratic" governments and whether they will be real democracies.
The tiny militant wing of Hamas today is pulling all the strings of Palestinian politics, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah Shiite Islamic party is doing the same in Lebanon, even though it is a small minority in the cabinet, and so, too, are the Iranian-backed Shiite parties and militias in Iraq. They are not only showing who is boss inside each new democracy, but they are also competing with one another for regional influence.
As a result, the post-9/11 democracy experiment in the Arab-Muslim world is being hijacked.
It's not as simple as 'America go home and everything will get better.' Things are admittedly terrible in Iraq (and Palestine and Lebanon) right now. But with no stabilizing influence whatsover, or at least the stabilizing influence dramatically reduced to the point of no longer being able to hold up the dam against terrorism, Iraq will become infinitely worse off.
In the short run and the long run.
America has made mistakes with regard to the fostering of liberty in Iraq, especially in thinking that people steeped in slavery, fear, and feelings of revenge would suddenly know what to do with liberty. But let's not make another mistake by leaving Iraq too soon.