Written by a guy on another site I visit who is about to be deployed to Afghanistan (for the second time I think). I have to say I agree. Except for the bolded line. ****************************************** Well...based on conversations with lots of soldiers who have been to Iraq, I think we should pull out. As my friend Ray (freshly back from Iraq) put it, "I don't know why we're there. The Iraqis just keep killing each other anyway." The Iraqis don't at all appreciate the gifts of liberty and democracy that we are attempting to give them on a silver platter - at the cost of the blood of some of our country's finest young men. Personally, I think this is because individual liberty and democratic government are products of societal evolution over thousands of years. For western culture, this began with the ancient Greeks. Muslim countries have no such cultural background. I just don't think we can make a stable democracy in such a culture in five or ten years, and I certainly don't think the ungrateful Iraqis deserve such an effort of American life and treasure. I also think the welfare analogy applies to Iraq. Welfare recipients will milk the system and ride on the backs of taxpayers as long as they can. Only when you threaten to kick them off the welfare rolls on a certain date do they take responsibility for their own lives. Similarly, if we never give the Iraqis a deadline, they will just coast along on the backs of our Army, and America's young men will continue to die so that the Iraqis have the freedom to murder and torture each other. I think the Bush administration will have to settle for some kind of compromise on Iraq, since there's really now way to win this. I realize the "strategy" has been "we'll pull out when we're victorious." But no one seems to be able to fully define victory in Iraq, and there is no way in hell the Iraqis are going to have a stable country by the end of the Bush administration. Of course, in light of last week's election, it could be argued that the Bush administration has already ended. And no matter the excuses made by the GOP, it's because of the terrible and incompetent execution of the Iraq occupation. Incompetence not by the soldiers and Marines on the ground, but by the higher-ups who didn't plan for the worst.