"For those who doubt that Iraq holds much significance in the fight against al-Qaeda, Zawahiri assures people of its central nature:
'I tell them your leaders are hiding from you the true extent of the disaster which will shick you. And the days are pregnant and giving birth to new events with Allah's permission and guidance. And I tell them, you have provided us with all the legal and rational reasons to fight you and retaliate from you, you have committed ugly crimes and broken the traties which you used ti impose on others. And for our part, we have repeatedly warned you and repeatedly offered a truce with you, and so we now have all legal and rational justifications to continue to fight you until your power is destroyed or you give in and surrender.”
“And I tell them you shouldn't bother yourselves with defending your forces in Iraq and Afghanistan because they are doomed to defeat and are all but defeated fighting their last battles. Rather, you should reinforce your defenses in two regions. The first is the Gulf, from where you will be expelled, Allah willing, after your defeat in Iraq, at which point your economic ruin will be achieved. And the second is Israel, because the Jihadi reinforcements are getting closer to it, with Allah's Help and Power, and your defeat there will put an end to contemporary Zionist/Crusader superiority....'
He sees our defeat and/or surrender in Iraq as the first step towards our economic ruin. Iraq has assumed that position because it signalled our resolve not to abandon the region to terrorists and genocidal dictators. Of all the post-9/11 developments, they fear Iraqi democracy the most. It would light a beacon for freedom that eventually would spread through the region, and that specifically rejects the kind of theocratic fascism that Zawahiri has planned for the ummah. Defeating us and driving us from the region would allow them to take over in Iraq, Zawahiri believes, and take control of the world's oil supplies in an eventual drive across the entire region."
And yet all we hear from the Naysayers and the Usual Suspects is how we need to get out, regardless of the ultimate cost we would have to pay.
It's a cost that would be FAR worse than the one we've already paid.