One can understand some of the whys neither would refuse to leave. Bush, of course, has to remain consistent with his original folly. What this really means is that he doesn't have the courage to admit a mistake and then try to do something better.
Both Kerry and Bush would be criticized by superficial thinkers as lacking the gumption to "stick it out". Thing is neither Bush or Kerry or the critics using this point (or its variations) are over there dying.
As I wrote previously in this Blog, there is no viable function anymore to the application of force of arms as a policy in international relations. Force of arms always leads to its use in reply. Force of arms would only be viable if it worked - that is if it ended something or brought about the assumed hoped for change. Vietnam was a clear case in point, and Iraq is just going over the same historical mistakes one more time too many. Force of arms doesn't work.
The real (and honest) question is: Since an elected administration of the United States of America has made this tragic error, to what consequence are the American People obligated? We elected the people who made this happen (Democrats approved the war resolution, remember), so neither of the Parties is excused here, and that means the People too.
You can be pretty sure we are not obligated to send several thousand more of our children to die over there.
In searching for an answer, we can ask a couple of interesting questions: 1) could the international community (especially France, Russia, China, Germany and England of course) have stopped us? The answer to that is probably yes, they could have. However, politically it was expedient to let us commit this folly, for where we loose, most of them gain. 2) could the Arab world have stopped us? The answer to that is also yes, they could have. Don't think so? OPEC could have done it easily, but truth to tell they all wanted SH out of office, and clearly our neo-cons were clueless as to the real consequences of an invasion, which then helps the radical Islamists (who have more power in some places then everyone wants to admit, especially in Saudi Arabia, one of our so-called major Arab allies).
What Kerry should do, if elected, is tell everyone we are leaving in 90 days, if the international community, including the Arab world, does not act together to pacify Iraq. It is clearly in everyones self interest, and we can basically say, look we did something stupid, but we are not going to compound that the way we did in Vietnam. We are going to have to leave, unless we are not any longer the only ones bearing the costs (along with the Iraqis). Time for the rest of the world to put up or shut up.
No long deliberations, no UN resolutions. Send troops and put pressure on the so-called insurgents immediately. This way, everyone gains, nobody loses. If we are going to have one world economically, then we need to act together on all levels, not just on trade.
Taking this track gives us another important consequence. We need to give our military a rest, and get it ready to focus on Iran's and North Korea's nuclear toys. We need to lead the world in fixing what is going on in Sudan. We've got all kinds of things we need to do (because we can), but first we've got to have the courage to disengage from the Tar-Baby of Iraq.
There are things we need to do at Home as well, but as long as we are tied up in this new quagmire, we are going to be incapacitated to deal with the rest of life. Yea, I know, it is unlikely that the idiots in Washington have the guts to do this, but what's a Blog for except to be able to rant when needed.