What an Introduction! I'm flattered!
Naturally I dont mean we sit on our buttocks and do nothing as we wait for the countdown to reach 0. The Interim time should be used on one thing and one thing only. Training the Iraqi security Forces and NOTHING ELSE. Right now we have a hodge podge of different tactics such as creating democracy, focusing on the economy, focusing of infrastructure, focusing on security, etc. The problem is none of it works. My suggestion, forget democracy for the timebeing and just put somebody firm in charge (ie not Chalabi). Saddam stayed in power 30 years by strongarming the public, perhaps we need to do the same. As of right now there is only 1 Combat ready Battalion (the rest only exist on paper) in 3 years. Napoleon built his Grand Armee in less time. Thats got to change.
As for the dems, if you think about it they are making a very smart political move by saying nothing. Look how much trouble the GOP has gotten themselves into this year all by themselves. And to the GOP frustration they have no issue to attack the Dems on because the Dems are quiet. But my guess you might see a Democratic plan near election 2006.
I dont see withdrawing as a dishonor on the soldiers, on the politicians yes but Im not losing any sleep over it. The soldiers didnt start this war, the politicans did (like all wars), and like all wars it was the soldiers that got stuck cleaning up the mess.
You are mixing up oil production and oil capacity. The reason Iraq is at the bottom was that Saddams neglect, UN embargo, the Iraq invasion, and now Terrorist attacks have crippled the oil infrastructure for the last decade. Were the pumps and refineries to be repaired Iraq would be a oil goldmind. Remember Rummy saying Iraqi would pay for the invasion through its oil and the US taxpayer wouldnt spend a dime, that was proof that certain people had black gold on their mind.