The United States lost the war to maintain it's democratic nationalism in November of 1979.
Religious and political fanatics cannot be stopped. Time after time this has been well established. The Afghan's kicked the British Empire out. The United States kicked the British Empire out. France kicked their monarchy out. The North Vietnamese kicked France out of Vietnam and then kicked the United States out of Vietnam. Iran kicked the United States out of Iran. Al Queda kicked the United States out of Somalia.
Soon Al Queda will kick the United States out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The United States political machine will spin it as a peaceful withdrawal after a winning military action. Those who study history know that winners don't leave. The United States didn't leave Texas or California after the Mexican War, Cuba or the Philippines after the Spanish American War, Japan or Germany after WW2.
Since then we have been kicked out of pretty much everywhere we have gone. Oh yeah, withdrawn after a successful military action. Just like the USSR in Afghanistan.
Wars are fought over control of resources. The political fanaticism of the revolutionaries in the United States, France, Vietnam and Iran drove their wealth oriented opponents from the nations where their opponents controlled the resources.
Nixon understood this and used a fanatical despot, Pinochet, to drive out a slightly less fanatical socialist, Allende, from power in Chile.
Nixon also made a political and business decision that the resources in Vietnam were not worth the expenditure of maintaining a war when there was so much internal opposition to the war.
The problem is that fanatics do not care what the cost is or how long it takes to gain control of the resources.
What resources? Resources are people, natural resources, industrial capacities, etc. Just about everything is a resource.
When the United States stopped defending it's political resources, the Iranian Embassy, it expressed a lack of fanaticism for it's own political system.
A political system is a resource. There are different kinds of political systems and the political system supported by the most fanatics always takes control.
Now that democracy has effectively been proved to have failed as a political system, much as it failed in Greece and Rome thousands of years ago it will be replaced with theocratic monarchies just as it was thousands of years ago.
This time the theocratic monarchies will be Islamic. Democracy will be ended just as it was in Greece and Rome. In the beginning by bureaucrats who corrupt the system and eventually it will be over thrown by religious or political fanatics and finally democracy will be replaced with theocratic monarchies. It is possible communist fanatics will take over, but, I doubt it.
One of the primary reasons many revolutions have been successful has been religious fanaticism. In the United States it was fanaticism for religious freedom. Typically the religious fanatics are more successful than political fanatics. Not always, but, usually.
30% of the United States is fanatical “Liberal Democrat” who typically advocate a non-violent “live and let live” policy.
30% of the United States is fanatical “Conservative Republican” who are typically willing to fight for and die over supporting for the “American Way”.
40% is “middle of the road” swaying in the breeze who want to live their lives simply and without conflict.
The fanatics in Islam have the fanatics in the US fighting amongst themselves.
The group advocating non-violent conflicts will probably win in the United States since the 40% just want to get along and live their lives. Eventually there will probably be a semi-rebellion which the “go-along, get-along” majority will win because they have more guns (in a Democracy the majority controls the military).
In order to make this happen the outsiders have to create situations of conflict, terrorist acts when things are going well. This creates huge internal conflicts.
When terrorist acts are no longer creating huge internal conflicts, when the fanatics who are willing to fight for the “American Way” have been beaten down by the majority of “go-along, get-along” the external fanatics will invade and destroy the United States and all of Western Democracy the same way it happened in Greece and Rome.
We can define our “way of life” and become fanatical about protecting it or we will end up being slaves in a theocratic monarchy.