If US troops leave prematurely, the Iraqi government is likely to collapse, which could trigger violence on a far deadlier scale than Iraq is experiencing now. Iran's malignant influence will intensify, and with it the likelihood of intensified Sunni-Shiite conflict, and even a nuclear arms race, across the Middle East. Anti-American terrorists and fanatics worldwide will be emboldened. Iraq would emerge, in Senator John McCain's words, "as a Wild West for terrorists, similar to Afghanistan before 9/11." Once again -- as in Vietnam, in Lebanon, in Somalia -- the United States would have proven the weaker horse, unwilling to see a fight through to the finish.
A whole lot of unproven -- and unprovable -- assertions here. Let's analyze...
violence on a far deadlier scale
I don't see anything to indicate either that the terrorists are holding back or that either the US or Iraqi forces have been able to meaningfully block their attacks. If we were capable of stopping terrorist attacks, we surely would have done so in four years. We have not, so our absence will not matter that much.
Iran's malignant influence will intensify
Saddam's Iraq was the primary counterbalance to Iran. When we toppled Saddam, we made Iran the big dog. One more very good reason we should never have invaded.
even a nuclear arms race, across the Middle East
The only nation in the middle east with nukes is Israel. And whether we leave Iraq or not will have no effect on Iran's plans.
fanatics worldwide will be emboldened
What could embolden them more than watching us flail around helplessly year after year in Iraq, tying up our forces, wearing out our equipment and destroying the resolve of the American people by wasting it on this war.
The article concludes:
For they know only too well what horrors Al Qaeda and its jihadist allies are capable of. Beheadings. Suicide bombings. Lynchings. Child murder. Chlorine gas attacks. Bali. Madrid. 7/7.
But the truth is that Iraq was and is nothing more than a distraction in the global war on terrorists. We started the civil war there, but we cannot end it, and there is conclusive evidence that the longer we waste our blood and treasure in Iraq, the less capable we are of combating the forces who present a true threat to America. So if you are honest with yourself, you'll recognize that nothing would make Osama happier than for us to remain in Iraq forever.
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