By WILLIAM SAFIRE
What if, by some miracle, everyone ‘fessed up to mistakes made about the surprisingly easy overthrow of Saddam and its unexpectedly bloody aftermath, and mistakes now being made in building democracy?
(1) In London, the amalgam of isolationists, pacifists and anti-Blair leftists — once certain they would spoil a state visit by branding the U.S. president a monster militarist — would generously admit that they had been a noisy minority, and that their discourtesy triggered a reaffirmation by most Britons of the ties between two freedom-speaking nations that lead the world in defeating tyrants.
(2) Gen. Wesley Clark would have to admit that his early reading of the Pentagon war plan on CNN was unduly panicky. Other analysts who feared heavy civilian casualties, masses of refugees, environmental disaster in the torching of oil fields and the mother of all battles in the narrow streets of Baghdad were in egregious error.