OK, after repeatedly reading about the continuing quagmire that is Iraq and the various rationale for support or disgust of the US policies/tactics in that area...I ask this question: What would you do with Iraq if you were in a position to effect change? Please try and be somewhat specific with your answers and rationale... I bring this up because although I find the Iraq situation to be a horrible mess, I cannot see a clear-cut alternative. Here are a few, and my problems w/them: 1) Pull out of Iraq, hand over government to Iraqis... I would love this one, but I do not see the US government willing to lose face after such an expenditure of time and money (and lives)...in addition, although the Iraqis are an educated people, I believe that if we ubruptly pulled out, there would be chaos, and perhaps an Iran-style theocracy... 2) US forces should refrain from direct military strikes of suspected terrorists and concentrate on rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure... This is the easiest way to re-win the Iraqis good-will, by providing them gas,electricity and water in a regular and timely fashion...I do believe most Iraqis would not support attacks against the US, if we were actually improving their quality of life. The problem here is, if I were aligned against the US occupation, if I was to target the oil, electric or water utilities, I could easily undermine the USs best efforts and gain support... 3) US should gain international support by whatever means necessary, work w/ the newly sovereign Iraqi government... Frankly, I do not think any country wants to touch Iraq with a ten-foot-pole, and I don't blame them...as far as working with the Iraqi government, the US military would have to cede some/much of the control over its' forces and tactics, which from a tactical standpoint might prove fractous or inefficient...also any success shared by this arrangement might work against the new Iraqi government as them not being independent...(in perception)... 4) Pull-out slowly and allow for the fact that Iraq might not be ready for a democratic government. There are alot of conditions a society must meet for democracy to work as a system, I am not sure that Iraq can meet them all...there are plenty of examples of where just holding free-elections were a disaster (Haiti) as the rest of the country was in too much of a mess. So, in effect we would support a type of Autocratic governance to emerge and create order and try and make sure that they were pro-american. This might be acheived in part by economic and military assistance...which is something the US has done many times before...Risky proposition, however. 5) Any of the above combined with a high-profile abandonment of Israeli appeasement policy and a strong push for a Palestinian state...I think we would win alot of points in the MIddle East this way, and I think it is somewhat smart policy, as blindly supporting the Isrealis has gotten us in alot of hot-water we perhaps didn't deserve...with the power of the pro-Isreal lobby in the US, this could be very hard... 6) NUKE Iraq and build a Disneyworld/ Waterpark/ Really big Mall over the rubble...just kidding... Anyway, my answers were not meant to be comprehensive, just to get the ball rolling, I know there are a great many thoughtful personalities in these forums (you know who you are)...so lets see what you think...thanks *edit* Try and look at this as if we were in an alternate universe where anything is possible...even if you have ideas that obviously might not be implemented by Bush or anyone in the "real" world. I am talking theory...I am just interested if there are any decent alternatives to be had. Try and check your cynicism at the door, although any thoughtful/plausible argument must include some realism/context. Just try and strike a balance...Clear?