Once again, thank you to the men and women that make up the greatest fighting force in the world. They have successfully invaded, occupied, pacified, trained a new army, and most importantly, defeated an insurgency on it's home turf. The books written about this conflict that came out in 2005 were written far too early, and I look forward to the books written in 2020 about Operation Iraqi Freedom. Do you think they'll cite some of the 2005 books and laugh?
Back in the early days of post-9/11, I recall some of my college friends stating how terrorists were expressing themselves through violence because of the horrible repressive regimes that they came from in the ME. When Bush-Cheney came out with the name "Operation Iraqi Freedom", I thought that he truly had bought into the idea that if you build a democracy there, it will reap long term benefits and help fight terrorism by taking away one of the recruiting pitches. Time will tell. I am one who believes some of what we see today in Iran is because of the budding representative govt that still pays respects to religion next door. If one considers how Japan and Germany became stellar members of the representative govt club, anything is possible in Iraq. Japan never had a history of anything but rule by the sword and Emperor. Germany had been authoritarian for years with a brief, sad spasm of parliamentarian politics for 15+/- years. For the good of the ME and the rest of the world, I hope it works. If the relative quiet from the anti-war crowd means that there is no rush to our exit from Iraq, then I am fine with it. Let's not abandon a potential republic as it is learning how to walk.