Where do we go from here?

So, it seems the Bush administration, at least some within the administration, are willing to admit that things are not going as planned in Iraq. Perhaps, there may be even a re-evaluation of whether our policy and strategy have been correct. Staying the course when it seems the situation is continually deteriorating is not prudent or wise.
People have been saying for years now that our strategy towards Iraq is untenable and unwinable. The voices of those who called upon the administration to step “outside the box” of “old-war” mentality of conflict between states were ignored or ridiculed. This war is being fought under an old and inappropriate model, in my uninformed opinion. In my mind, we are like the English in their attempt to defeat the revolutionaries during our war of independence. They just didn’t get the fact that their way of fighting just didn’t work any longer, and they lost. Some people in this administration just don’t seem to get the fact that the way of war has now changed.
If we end up pulling out of Iraq before we reach our stated goals or if the conflict ends in a way that suggests our weakness and the American people’s unwillingness to complete what we began, legitimately or illegitimately, the impression is that we are unreliable, unstable in our commitments, and are willing to let huge numbers of people die in our wayward attempts to impose our will on the world. Okay, but what do we do now?
The American people will fight to the end and sacrifice whatever needs to be sacrificed if we believe that the conflict is for a greater good. The World Wars are good examples. We entered them reluctantly and overcome our isolationist tendencies. Vietnam and now this war in Iraq were entered into not for some greater good that will benefit not just us but the world. No, we entered into these wars upon a faulty foundation, and with a faulty and perhaps illegitimate intent, and we are witnessing the results.
Will we learn? Will there be leaders willing to move towards a solution that recognizes the complexities of the new world dynamic? I hope so. Perhaps the more important question is whether the American people will be wise enough to recognize a good leader from a poor one. Will we allow ourselves to be manipulated, again? Will we recognize wisdom? Will we realize the folly of empire? Will we recognize that there really is a solution, but it will mean that we change our way of thinking and our way of relating to much of the world? I hope so. This isn’t about liberal vs. conservative. Those paradigms mean little in this day in day, frankly. It will take someone, all of us, to look beyond these ways of dicing up the world and one another.