Howie and the rest of the right-wingnuts insist that "things are better now than under Saddam," ignoring the continued bloodshed, the murder and kidnapping of elected officials, US and Iraqi government-sponsored torture, the 1600 American GIs killed, and the massive number of Iraqi civilian dead (between 20,000 and 100,000, depending on whose count you're looking at). And, of course, we have done just the opposite in Iraq of what we said we would do: we have made it a haven for terrorists, a terrorist training ground, and (for now) the central front of the war on terror. And it didn't have to be.
But sometimes we sow the seeds of our own frustration:
Iraq is being transformed to what Afghanistan was in the 1980s. Militants are turning the resistance into an international jihadist movement. Foreign fighters coming from different parts of the world are merging as cells or complete units with Iraqis. If the occupation persists long, Iraq will be a productive ground for international Islamic fundamentalism similar to the case of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Keeping in mind that these terrorists are bred, financed and sponsored by radical Arab states, any Islamic Arab nation is not an easy front to win for the US.