Terrorist or Iranian control of Iraq would give them enormous leverage with other countries in the Middle East, putting control of the oil that is the lifeblood of Western economies in the hands of implacable and ruthless enemies.
With more resources to finance more international terrorism, does anyone think the terrorists will spare the United States?
Much has been made of how long we have already stayed in Iraq, the casualties, and the mistakes that have been made. But both deaths and mistakes have always been inseparable from war.
As for how long we have been in Iraq, the cost of a war is not measured in time. It is measured in lives lost.
While our media are impatiently waiting for the 4,000th American death in Iraq that they can trumpet, and rub our noses in -- in the name of "honoring the troops" -- we need to understand that casualty rates in Iraq are low, as wars go.
If and when that 4,000th American death in Iraq is reached, we need to recall that more Marines than that were lost taking one island in the Pacific during World War II.
During the Civil War, more than twice as many Union soldiers as that were killed -- in one day -- at the battle of Shiloh, and again at Gettysburg.
The "war on terror" is a misleading phrase. It is the terrorists' war against us -- and it is not something that we can unilaterally call off. Our only choice is where to fight it, over there or over here.