Most of the acts of violence that are happening now are not traditional "terrorists" but rather it is sectarian violence among many different religious sects, clans, etc. that are fighting for power and control. This is widespread and throughout most of the country.
I'll agree with that, and I think it's been one of the biggest mistakes we've made. These people have been fighting amongst themselves for thousands of years. It was Saddam that kept them in line. Of course that was because he killed anyone that disagreed with him. But then over there that seems to be all they know. The strongest survies the weakest dies.
We took over and tried to run things the way we would run them here. Problem is the people won't react the same there. Here we wouldn't see the Methodists and the Catholics having a running gun battle in the streets. But over there it's another story. We didn't take charge right off the bat. We let things slide, and that was the exact opposite of the way it should have been done. We needed to do the same thing Saddam did, except the killing. We needed to take control, but we were afraid to because so many back here were already saying we were occupying the country. Too strong and it would seem that way. So instead we did the politicially correct thing and backed off and let them do it. Unfortunately they didn't take control because they were too busy fighing between themselves. And it was all down hill from there.
This is turning into another politically correct fight, and we never come out good on one of those. What we did was not wrong, but the way we did it was.
We step out now and Iran and Syria will just sweep in and take over the region. We may not like it, but we'll have to do something. There are people over there that hate our guts, and just staying out of the middle east will not be enough for them. If they cannot fight us there, they will bring the fight to us here on US soil. This is not a war over oil, it is a religious war. We don't believe what their extremists believe, and for that we must die. Maybe only 10% of them feel that way. But that is enough to do some damage here on US soil. 9-11 proved that.