(Note: this in not a typographical error, I know there are only one of you!)
For some reason, comments were blocked on the "Checkmate?" post. So I wanted to include some. Not just because this person was really nice to me about my essay, but also because I would love to see some intelligent discussion sprout up somewhere.
That is a great little essay. Scary though. You raise some really important points. I don't want to even imagine a US that has drained its treasury fighting a losing battle that it has no choice but to fight; and I agree with you, this is a battle we have to fight. We can't morally, or safely, leave now. The solution? Again, I agree with your statement: "To me, it seems that we must stay, but turn control over to other nations: allowing, forcing even, the World to take a hand in helping us creating a stable Iraq." I think that our solution will come by some perhaps unforeseen force (a modern day Ghandi?) and/or by a carefully planned coalition of nations. While we have no control over the former, we can plan the latter. We can elect a new leader, who can humbly but with dignity, call an emergency meeting of nations to discuss this problem. The Middle East is a threat to many, and not just the United States. I'm not sure what the solution will be. But I think it will take more than what we can provide at this point. Clearly, our sophisticated weaponry was been virtually useless in controlling Iraq. A multi-nation approach is needed.
Your other point (which I have, admittedly, heard before) is also spot on. We HAVE to stop our reliance on oil. I still get upset just thinking about our current president's short sighted statement that he made years ago: "The American people deserve all of the oil that they want". How utterly small minded. We need our next leader to think beyond their own (and their friends') monetary concerns and plan for the future. I'm honestly not sure that a Republican candidate could do this. It will go against what they believe in: no big government, and free capitalism. But Capitalism will continue to do what's easy, not what's right. And without government incentives and oversight, it will be impossible to effect such a radical change in our fuel usage.
So, we are left with a need to work WITH the rest of the world, instead of in defiance of it, and we are also left with the crucial need to optimize a viable alternative to petroleum. Let's hope there is someone out there with the gut, smarts, and ingenuity to do the job.
PS. I couldn't find a "post a comment" spot after this article.