In short, they're wrong, and Bush was right. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's reported death is just one more very large mark for the positive side of the ledger. While reflecting on Hanson's arguments, you might want to remind yourself of Christopher Hitchens' Top ten reasons for the war in Iraq from August. "The case for overthrowing Saddam was unimpeachable," said Hitchens.
While the U.S. military conducts a brilliant campaign to implement democratic reform that is on the eve of ending with an Iraqi parliament, while there has been no repeat of promised 9/11 attacks here at home, and while the entire dictatorial Middle East from Lebanon and Syria to Egypt and Libya is in crisis — baffled, furious, or impressed by a now idealistic United States pushing for something different and far better — our intellectual and political elite harp on "WMD, WMD, WMD..."
Sadder still, they stay transfixed to this refrain either because polls show that it is good politics or it allows them a viable exit from an apparently now unpopular war.
But no, not so fast.
History has other lessons as well — as we know from the similar public depression during successful wars after Washington's sad winter at Valley Forge, Lincoln's summer of 1864, or the 1942 gloom that followed Pearl Harbor and the fall of the Philippines, Singapore, and Wake Island. When this is all over, and there is a legitimate government in the Middle East that represents the aspirations of a free people, the stunning achievement of our soldiers will be at last recognized, the idealism of the United States will be appreciated, our critics here and abroad will go mute — and one of the 23 writs for a necessary war of liberation will largely be forgotten.
Linked article: War & Reconstruction -- For Bush’s critics, even hindsight is cloudy.