And: Ted Koppel was on the mark (you could say prophetic) in his comments from December 2005, recounted this past Sunday on "Meet the Press":
"MR. KOPPEL: But the point--the one issue I would add, Tim, is the mousetrap that is waiting for the Democrats is if they do not publicly acknowledge that U.S. national interest is just fundamentally involved in a stable Iraq and a stable Persian Gulf, if they simply come after the Republicans, and take the cheap shots on the war, and say, "You gotta bring the troops home at all costs," they might even win the election, but if they win the election, they're going to find themselves confronting the same issues of national interest that the Republicans are facing right now. The simple fact of the matter is it is in America's national interest that there be stability in the Persian Gulf, and if we precipitously pull the troops out of that area now, there'll be hell to pay."
The mousetrap has snapped tightly shut. One can only hope that reality sinks in soon.
UPDATE: Yet another outstanding article on Iraq that identifies a fundamental problem for Democrats: They are intellectually trapped in the Vietnam era. Excerpt:
"Generals often make the mistake of fighting the last war. On Iraq, Democrats are doing exactly that. They just cannot get past Vietnam. Someone might want to remind them of two important lessons of Vietnam they seem to have forgotten: 1) In the absence of U.S. troops, the Communists slaughter of innocents continued unchecked; 2) Our retreat taught the world what the North Vietnamese already knew: To defeat the United States you don't have to win a single battle, you just have to kill enough Americans to turn public opinion against the war.
The irony is that only if Democrats have their way and U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq before the mission is complete will Iraq be another Vietnam."
And one final point: If US troops withdraw before that nation is stable, it will have also confirmed Osama bin Laden's hypothesis that Americans are a nation of casualty-sensitive paper tigers.