The BBC today, in the manner of journalists and Europeans, was taking the idea of American withdrawal from Iraq proposed by Congressman Murtha seriously. J. Peter Mulhern in American Thinker properly demolishes that kind of thinking:
A victorious nation either establishes a permanent troop presence on the battlefield or it loses the fruits of victory. A win or a draw followed by retreat will always degenerate into a defeat. If there is such a thing as a law of history, this is it. Consider just the few examples from our own short history.
Two hundred and twenty years after the Revolutionary War we still have troops along the east coast of North America. A hundred and sixty years after the Mexican-American War we still have troops in the Southwest. A hundred and forty years after the Civil War we still have troops in the states of the Confederacy. Sixty years after World War II we still have troops in Germany and Japan. Fifty Years after the Korean War we still have troops guarding Seoul.
We left Cuba after occupations in 1906 and 1912 (retaining only the naval base at Guantanamo Bay). Fidel Castro is our reward. We left Europe after World War I and we got World War II. We left Vietnam after we had bought a stalemate with 50,000 lives and the result was our most humiliating defeat.
When you leave, you lose. Defeat is the only exit strategy and in this instance defeat would be catastrophic. The stakes could not be higher.