Iraq: 2004 Election: The No. 1 Priority

Bush's legacy will depend on whether he can stabilize Iraq and get the troops home. That won't be easy

Be careful what you wish for, Mr. President. Now that he has won re-election, the bloody mess in Iraq remains George W. Bush's No. 1 responsibility and the one most likely to define his presidential legacy. The British experience occupying the country in the 1920s offers unhappy instruction. That expedition's commander thought he went as a liberator and arrived with scant ground troops. The local leaders the British picked to rule were weak and derided as puppets. Iraqis rebelled with attacks that stunned the occupiers in their ferocity. Ultimately, the occupiers had to use brute military power to crush the insurgency, hoping that stories of men, women and...

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