Are we supposed to hold our leaders to a standard of perfection and demand clairvoyance from them? Most of the same armchair generals demanding such perfection have been about as imperfect as they could be in their own forecasting and commentary on the war.
Despite the finger-pointing on all sides about what has already happened, we must understand we have no choice but to stay the course. It doesn't matter whether we invaded Iraq; it doesn't matter whether we station troops in Saudi Arabia, it doesn't matter if we support Israel; and it doesn't even matter if we surrender -- these people will continue to try to kill us. We deny that at our peril.
The terrorists hated us long before we rooted them out of Afghanistan, attacked Iraq or abused certain Iraqi prisoners. They will continue to hate us no matter what we do.
The question is whether they will also fear and respect us. If we pull out of Iraq or continue to beat ourselves up over every setback, to the point of demoralizing our troops and our effort there, terrorists everywhere will be energized and pursue us with an even greater vengeance.
We can reawaken to the reality that we're in a war and not a battle for the hearts and minds of terrorists who have no heart and only distorted minds. Or we can put our heads back into our naive shell of denial in our fantasy world of appeasement and expect the very worst to come.
Neither prospect is pretty. Even if we fight as hard as we can with minimal mistakes in planning and execution, we may never entirely eradicate all terrorists. But if we quit -- if we pull out of Iraq -- we can be sure that we will not bequeath to our progeny the America our ancestors bequeathed to us.