Having a full life means that keeping up a blog often falls down the list of things to do. At this time, I'd like to just look back on Iraq. Why are we in Iraq? It is basically for two reasons:
1. Saddam. You can cloud the issue, but Saddam was basically a Hitler in waiting with a military to match his ambitions. He had to be taken out before he did far more harm to neighboring countries and his own people. His people were forced to breathe, eat and drink Saddam. Just look to North Koreans to see what having too long of this type of indoctrination does.
2. An unwillingness to repeat the past of colonial nations to just do what they want and leave. With all the complaints now about the USA staying in Iraq, the complaints would probably have been far worse if the USA just took out Saddam and left. The region is strife with actions of colonizing nations, including the USA, going in doing what they want and leaving the area far too soon. If the USA was truly going to repeat the history of colonizing nations, it would have never made elections a priority nor would it have cared about Iraq after taking out Saddam and his military. The USA truly wants to make Iraq a better place for its people because when it succeeds in doing this in the past (e.g., Japan, South Korea, Germany, etc.), it ends up being better for the USA. Unfortunately in Iraq, the level of infiltration of saboteurs against the USA (Iran, Al Quaida, radical Shiites, radical Sunnis) is far higher than in previous attempts.
So what's going to happen in the future? Iraq is gradually settling down and lower level priorities beyond damage control are starting to get attention. There are still hotspots like Mosul and relatively low level violence, but Iraq is still one country politically and even the worst critics of the Iraq occupation admit that things are getting better. There will be a point when the Iraqi security forces will be able to take over completely from the USA, and it looks like it will be sooner than later. The key to Iraq's future are in the hands of its leaders, chosen by its people. Despite what's in the news, the politicians are still talking to each other, and they are negotiating although it sometimes looks like fracturing in the headlines. As long as they keep talking, Iraq is on the road to recovery no matter what pressures outside countries put on it.