Indiana's Sen. Richard Lugar, writing in the Washington Post, seems to be one of the few people in Washington looking beyond Iraq to the larger issues at stake:
The president's plan is an early episode in a much broader Middle East realignment that began with our invasion of Iraq and that may not end for years. Nations throughout the Middle East are scrambling to find their footing as regional power balances shift in unpredictable ways.
At the center of this realignment is Iran, which is perceived to have emerged from our Iraq intervention as the big winner. We paved the way for a Shiite government in Iraq that is much friendlier to Iran than was Saddam Hussein. Bolstered by high oil revenue, Iran has meddled in Iraq, rigidly pursued a nuclear capability, and funded Hezbollah and Hamas.
One of the premises behind going to Iraq is that terrorists, though stateless, need the help of states to facilitate their movements and operations, as they used Afghanistan. The Bush administration might have mishandled Iraq in any number of ways, but that doesn't make the initial premise invalid, and all '08 presidential candidates should be judged partly on their grasp of the broader-than-iraq picture.