There are other questions that make the claim “we’re more secure” highly suspect. If we do leave, where is the evidence that Iraq (or Afghanistan, for that matter) will blossom into a secular democracy and ally in the war against Islamic radicalism?

Doubtlessly it is Islamophobic to bring this up, but Americans are dying, not only in the war on terror, but also to codify Sharia law. Brooks claims that, in Iraq, “The role of women remains surprisingly circumscribed.” (Surprisingly?) Actually, that’s just a polite way of saying — and I quote directly from the Iraqi Constitution — “Islam is the official religion of the State, and it is a fundamental source of legislation.”

That’s one reason many of us regret our support of the Iraq war. Though I am not reflexively isolationist, I am reflexively suspicious of social engineering. And nation-building is social engineering on the grandest of scales.