I don't think we should have gone in, personally. To me 1,200 young American lives are not worth an entire nation of democratic Iraqis. But my prediction is that we will be there in large numbers for at least eight to twelve more years and many more of us will die. There is no way W will ever pull out, so that's four more years. Then, even if the new President (due to term limits on W) is a Democrat it will take him four years to withdraw them as Kerry himself said. In eight years the chances are very good that Iraq will have either a stable unified government or will be split up into three nations a la Yugoslavia. The Shiites hate the Sunnis for what they have done to them and they are 60% of the population, and the Kurds hate them both but have been willing to play along so far. The 2 million Kurds in the north, by the way, love Americans for the most part. They recognize they have no chance without us, and they have a thriving feldgling economy now. At some point the secular Sunni leadership is going to say "this insurgency has to stop, we are only killing ourselves". The insurgents are outnumbered by their own people but nobody wants to get killed so they stay quiet. Nicaragua was in very dire straits too at one point. The leftist government there was heavily funded by the Soviet Union. The USA was funding the insurgents in that case but also dangling financial carrots in front of the common people and eventually we won out and they got a democracy. The same thing could happen in Iraq and they have a lot more money (oil) than the Nicaraguans will ever have. It sucks for Americans but it's great for them. That's the price we have to pay for being the world's policeman.