Creating 5 problems by solving 1
I remember when I was about 10 years old. The school I went to, this one summer, had a nasty wasp nest which of course held the attention of all the hubristic, testosterone ravaged lads of my age (including myself of course). The trick was to tease and irritate the wasps into a frenzy, then we'd all run around laughing slapping wasps off our legs, bodies and faces. Endless fun for 10 yr old boys.
Slowly but surely some of the lads developed and a courage that exceeded the potential of the situtation. One such boy, whose name will remain unsaid, stuck a fennel stick well into the wasp nest. Got it right in there and well fucked off the wasps. Well, within 5 seconds he was covered in a hundred or more wasps. There was little we could do as a group and he ended up in hospital for the afternoon. After that some pest eradication guys came around and killed off the nest - no more fun for 10 year old boys that summer.
I hope this summer is just as much fun.
Just a few random thoughts
On another front I notice Obaid (ex Saudi Foreign Minister) has recently argued the US intervention in Iraq and it's recent murmurings of "an exit strategy" would leave Saudi little option but to take up the current US role of keeping Iranian backed Shiite militias from continuing their butchering of Iraqi Sunnis. There is already talk of Saudi providing the Iraqi Sunnis with weapons and financial support - get a feeling of deja-vue, a re-run of the Iraq/Iranian troubles.
There are faults on both sides - however it's clear that if allowed to continue a program of ethnic cleansing by Shiite death squads would be responsible for clearing out the Sunni minority within a pretty short space of time. Saudi would have little option but to intervene thus sparking a regional conflict.
We can be pretty clear of one thing. The US are unlikely to withdraw while there is any question about access to cheap oil. The US are in Iraq primarily to secure a cheap supply of the commodity that keeps the not negotiable wheels of easy motoring life in the States ticking along. If a withdrawal threatened that supply, and in all likelyhood it would then a withdrawal is unlikely.