The Democrats and the Republicans in the U.S. government are more alike than they are different. They act as rivals over issues of strategy, but not goals. And make no mistake about it, the still unspoken goal of the U.S. government relates to petroleum, not to democracy or well-being of the Iraqi people.
If the U.S. government were concerned about democracy, it would never have installed and supported Saddam Hussein until he became a little too independent and no longer served the interests of the U.S. He would not allow a critical pipeline to be built which would serve Israeli interests as well as U.S. interests, and he began threatening to trade Iraqi oil in Euros and not dollars, which would be ruinous to American interests. Saddam had to go, but democracy is valued by the U.S. government for Iraqis only to the extent that Iraqi democracy serves U.S. economic interests, particularly as related to the strategic control of petroleum resources and transportation in the Persian Gulf region.
The only reason any members of the U.S. government are talking about "withdrawal" of American forces is to reduce causalities, which are political poison. There is no plan, no intent and no possibility of the U.S. government "cutting and running" completely from Iraq as the U.S. did from Vietnam. Too much is at stake regarding the Oil Issue. This is NEVER discussed whatsoever, but worse, is never brought up by the U.S. media, including the alternate media. The Peace Movement has long said no to blood for oil, but fails to ask hard questions about the underlying strategies of both Democrats and Republicans, which are ultimately to control oil in the Persian Gulf and to access oil as necessary for American interests.
Robert Gates gave some of the most bizarre testimony that went unquestioned by the compliant media, also including the alternate media. Gates described the need for the Iraqi military to "stand up" in order for the U.S. military to "stand down". This concept is ludicrous on its face. The Iraqi military has no loyalty to the State of Iraq. It is a puppet military composed of jobless men who have no other source for a paycheck, and who are forced to wear the uniform for self-interest, not for the interest of Iraq. Many of these men have loyalties to their cultures and religious sects that supersede their national loyalty and will cut and run from their national obligations upon the command of their real leadership. Moreover, the Iraqi military and police have proved to have no heart for hard fighting of any insurgency. They will NEVER do so, any more than the Vietnamese Army was able to stand up against insurgents of that era.
Thus, there is no possibility that the Iraqi forces will ever accomplish control of Iraq in a manner that will render U.S. military force unnecessary. There is no possibility that the U.S. will disarm the Mahdi Army or other major Iraqi militias. The U.S. military must remain in Iraq to prop up the puppet government and its bought and paid for democracy in order for the U.S. to work out the strategic access to petroleum that remains and will remain the fulcrum of U.S. interest in Iraq.
For the U.S. to cut and run in the age of Peak Oil would mean the death knell for the U.S. economy, and the sad truth is that Peak Oil will ultimately bring down the U.S. economy even with U.S. control of Iraqi oil and strategic petroleum distribution. But if China, Russia, India, or other nations are able to siphon ultimate control of Iraqi and Persian Gulf oil for themselves as the international competition for remaining petroleum escalates, the U.S. will not only be a very sore loser, but a very, very dangerous one.
Control of Iraqi petroleum buys a decade or two for U.S. preeminence in the world, in a "best case" scenario for American interests, and this is what both Democrats and Republicans within the U.S. government are working for. If democracy does not get it done, do not be surprised if the U.S. discards democracy in Iraq like a filthy old napkin and finds a way to install a new strongman or dictator to control the situation, even at the cost of far greater losses of Iraqi lives and a greatly expanded Iraqi insurgency. The U.S. government has no regard for Iraqi lives, and will take the oil by any and all means necessary, no matter what the cost to the American military or the people of Iraq. The U.S. intends to win the war in Iraq, which is and always was a resource war.