When listening to the Let's Talk show on the Muslim World, the guest on the show mentioned how the US was leaving Iraq in defeat and other Muslims seems to be of the same view too...
but is that not foolish to think the US is leaving in failure and instead never got exactly what it went?
Firstly its not a withdrawal (as there are still 50,000 troops there and some permanent bases have been built...) and secondlt, I would question wether it really is defeat too.
To assume that it is losing in failure, you have to assume or accept that America is not getting exactly what it wanted in Iraq - a state of general chaos.
Let me explain... if we assume that atleast one of the aims of the Iraq war was to control resources, there are two ways to control them:
1, Put a strong man in who will be subservient to you. But here, we have precedents such as the Shah of Iran and even Saddam Hussain himself to show the two ways this could fail:
a. the strong man could be voerthrown.
b. the strongman may become independent and try to either go his own way or to look after the interest of the people instead of his "masters".
So this is not exactly what would be wanted - a strong stable government would mean that at some point the government will look after its people, it will privatise the oil fields and it will try to do what is best for Iraq.
2. the other option is to leave it in a state of organised chaos. This way, there is no strong government. there is no one looking over the resources with the interest of the people in mind.
More, the weak government will need the west's help in order to stay in power and will do their bidding.
That is precisely what the foreign instigators will want - they get to get their resources and they get to control the chaos in the land without having to exert too much of their own resources.
So I would not call the non-withdrawal a defeat of the US/coalition forces. I would think that they may even consider it a great success. They get the control of the resources, there is no strong government that will trouble them anytime soon and if one ever rises up, they can continue to meddle to return the place to chaos.
Disclaimer - some of this is influenced by an episode of Bremner, Bird and Fortune from about 5.6 years ago when they laid out the arguments in a humorous manner to show how this would be the most successful end game for Iraq. It fits.