DemFromCT got it right on the DailyKOS front page. We're not dealing with terrorists that are easily demoralized with a single show of force. Indeed, our own failures to live up to our own promises of swift victory are more inspiring to them than any extremist rhetoric. We said that we'd have Iraq "liberated" quickly, only to find ourselves having to dig in. We said we'd make Iraq into a model for the entire Middle East, only to make it the worst possible example. WE did this, not terrorists or insurgents. Our elected officials--who we elected, as a nation, no matter who you individually voted for in 2000 onwards--make pie-in-the-sky claims without any backing in reality, and we act surprised and disgusted at how it turned out. WE as a nation are to blame for enabling extremists to call us on our own bullshit. We say it'd only take a couple years; they say that they'll make it last a decade. We admit it'll take a decade, and they say they'll make it last half a century. And on it goes. Why not? The very people inspired to fight us in Iraq are generally impoverished with bleak prospects and a future rife with oppression and brutality, in part because of our enabling their leaders in the name of "realpolitik"--itself as much a conceit as any neocon pipe dream. They have nothing to lose, but we do.
Cut and run? Sure--cut our losses and run for office.