With Saddam Hussein deposed from Baghdad and Iraqis increasingly voicing gratitude to intervening American troops, the earliest and fiercest advocates of the war claimed vindication today.
Chief among them was Ken Adelman, a former arms control director in the Reagan administration, who predicted in February of last year that American forces would enjoy ”a cakewalk” in Iraq.
It goes from there, featuring several hundred words of triumphalism, with Adelman boasting about President Bush’s leadership. ”I hope it emboldens leaders to drastic, not measured, approaches,” he said. “That’s the only way to make a difference in the world.” Bill Kristol is quoted in the same piece saying, ”This is the most significant military action since Vietnam. ‘This is a little bit of a Vietnam in reverse, I would argue.”
Then there was this from former cabinet secretary and best-selling compiler Bill Bennett, who said the invasion of Iraq “will go down as one of the great military efforts of all time.”
[Bennett] said the military success would not, for some critics, provide a justification for the war. He predicted that the challenges would resume before the guns are silent.
”The argument will proceed,” he said. Skeptics in Europe and within academic circles in this country, he said, will say, ”Sure, you have big bombs, but what about cultural sensitivities and tolerance and understanding?”
”The cognitive dissonance continues,” he said. ”Our own intellectuals don’t get it.”
Ten years ago today.