Incorrigible warhawks and hand-wringing sensible liberals both routinely dismiss calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq with a wave of the hand and a grumble or two about the need for constructive suggestions. If pressed on the topic they will point out that after American soldiers withdraw things may get very, very bad in Iraq. The problem with this line of argument is that while that is true that things may get very, very bad, that could only support prolonging the occupation (whether indefinitely or for the duration of some elaborately orchestrated exit strategy) if not withdrawing would somehow make things less bad. If the presence of American soldiers is usually making things actively worse — the delusion of control notwithstanding — then the appeal is simply foolish.
But maybe the hand-wringers and the mouth-foamers have a point. If American soldiers weren’t in Iraq, then who would make sure that things like this get done?