In an nonetheless interesting article, the oft-wrong-on-the-war-but-usually-thoughtful Glenn Greenwald gets it really wrong:
We took a country that was relatively stable and a sworn enemy of, and an important check on, Iran. We turned it into a cesspool of violence, instability, displacement, sectarian strife, Iranian influence, and rule by militia.
The best we can hope for is to reverse some of the damage that we did so that a Shiite regime far more loyal to Iran than to the U.S. can rule with some semblance of order. And to "achieve" that, we squandered hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians (at least), and almost every ounce of credibility and influence we built up over the last six decades. That's the best case scenario. But still -- we are hearing now -- the people responsible for that grotesque debacle and who cheered it on are going to be in a "powerful" position, and the people who thought doing that was all a bad idea will be in big, big trouble.
The problems with his analysis are highlighted.
First off, I respect honest disagreements on the war policy, but I feel the need to bust two myths wide open. First off, Iraq wasn't really that stable under Saddam. The state was bound for collapse, not to mention a state sponsor of terror, and a rogue-state human rights nightmare, to say the least. Saddam was a murderer and a butcher. His regime was collapsing around him, and bound to be replaced by a worse regime. The idea was to replace Saddam's regime with a democratic alternative. Things obviously didn't work out quite like we planned, but the real progress we've made isn't some fantasy. Secondly, it's hardly fair to lay the blame squarely on ourselves for the violence there, as if al-Qaeda, the militias, and death squads somehow don't exist. I'm just sayin.'
Oh, yeah, and I'm with Althouse (thanks for the H/T, BTW). What is up with that metaphor?