Okay, Kyle, Blogger-buddy of mine: So we stay. Let's say for three years. We spend the billions, get their power and the water running again--their daycare centers too?--and supervise their elections (I can't wait to see that process, after Florida's debacle!) so that a fine, mild-manner group of Arabs takes over, bent on creating Iowa on the Tigris. Then we leave, right? Of course by then Iraq's oil delivery is privatized, as are their other infrastructures (already underway, these "advances"), and a capitalistic system is in place, with Western banks and pension funds the major investors. A capitalist democracy, right out of the mold of the USA.
And so we leave.
And then the first shark strikes. A bomb goes off, an election goes the wrong way, a decision is made, for example, to nationalize the oil or cell phone systems. What then? We stay away, allow things to proceed as they will? A trillion dollars and a thousand lives from now? Right we stay away, content to let Iraq go fundamentalist, communist, anti-Israel, whatever. In your dreams.
No, we get out now. We abandon empire now, whatever the cost in our own lives and dollars and in the lives of others. We announce that we aren't in the business of domination anymore, that our culture is our own and our land is ours too.
We do not, having committed one egregious wrong, convince ourselves that we must right it by continuing it, no matter how good that feels.
We fucked up. Now comes the tough time of learning to deal with it, and enduring the enmity of those who suffered because of it.