The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people.
Whenever Dubya gives a speech it appears to me like he's using the force to convince the television audience. This:
Yet, over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents.
When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas.
These are not the droids you're looking for.
Maybe this is the wrong Empire, though. Instead of Darth Vader, maybe the analogue is Nero. Rome is burning. Hand that man a fiddle.