As we try to sort out where we are in Iraq, only two things seem clear to me: we went there for the wrong reason, we left in the wrong way.
When we were told Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, I thought we had no choice but to go to Iraq.
That proved wrong. There were no such weapons.
As young Americans died and the country grew weary of war, we announced our job was done and we would be leaving. The administration wanted to leave a small training force of American soldiers behind.
But Iraq wouldn't agree to let those troops remain under America's legal control, and we have never put American forces anywhere under that condition, so we left.
But did we push hard enough for such an agreement, or was this just an excuse for a war-weary America to get out?
That, like our reason for going there, will be a question for historians, and should be. World War I began 100 years ago this week, and we're still debating what caused it.