I think it’s an absolute disaster. We won the war in Iraq, and we’re now losing the peace.... Forty-four hundred lives lost. Tens of thousands of troops wounded. Over a couple hundred thousand Iraqis killed. We liberated 25 million people. There is only one Arab Muslim country that elects its own government, and that is Iraq. We should be staying there to strengthen that democracy, to let them get the kind of political gains they need to get and keep the Iranians away from strangling that country. That should be our objective, and we are walking away from that objective.
Are we safer today than we were on January 19, 2009, the day before Obama was inaugurated? That's the key question for 2012. Are we safer today? Is the Middle East more stable? Are we more or less respected (and feared) around the world?
I think the answers are obvious.
UPDATE: Fred Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, the scholar of the Middle East who is often credited with being the architect of the "surge" strategy in Iraq under President Bush, has this to say on Hugh Hewitt's blog about Obama's decision to cut-and-run from Iraq:
I think all of our enemies will conclude from this that pressure on us and waiting us out is the way to go. And that’s been the message for a long time, and it’s something that we started to reverse with President Bush’s decision to fight for success in Iraq, and honestly continued with President Obama’s decision initially to reinforce in Afghanistan. But now, we will reinforce the narrative that we will ultimately leave. It will embolden our enemies.
A sad day and a scary portent of things to come.