CHENEY WAS RIGHT

Jonathan Last does a bit of gloating on NRO, where he points out that the war critics are changing their tune:

(1) This looks not like the beginning of the end (that was the night of March 19), but the beginning of the beginning of a Free Iraq. There will be hazards aplenty in the coming days, but also opportunity. If the allies wage the peace as skillfully as they’ve waged the war, then you have to like the odds for the Iraqi people.

(2) That said, you’ll see a number of people pivot in the next day or so. Commentators who first opposed the war, and then said that the war was going badly, will now say that, yes, of course we won the war–we knew we would all along–but the administration is doing a poor job of rebuilding. (They’ll also fret that Bush is going to a permanent war footing. They’ll ask “Who’s next? Syria?” This is what you do when events prove you wrong.)

(3) Dick Cheney seems to have been about 80 percent vindicated (so far). In the last couple weeks it has been fashionable to pile on the vice president for his prediction that the war in Iraq would be a “cakewalk” (I don’t think he ever actually said it would be) and that “after liberation the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy in the same way throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans.

Clearly, given the advantages of hindsight, some things could have been done better. But for Baghdad to be under the control of the Coalition in three weeks with under 100 Americans dead is downright remarkable by any reasonable standard.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.