Daniel Drenzer, April 11, 2003::
Given that the war will likely be completely over in 60 days (the upper limit of Nordhaus’ â€œbest-caseâ€ scenario); the northern and southern oil fields were captured without significant damage [UPDATE: the last oil fire has now been extinguished]; oil markets have been unruffled; and none of the worst-case scenarios have come to pass, it would be safe to say that the dice came up favorably. However, both press reports and antiwar activists played up the potential trillions in economic costs.
Glenn Reynolds, April 11, 2003:
“FOR SUCH AN ADVANCED SPECIES, THEY SURE KNOW HOW TO RUB IT IN.” — Marge Simpson
Yeah, there has been a lot of pro-war gloating. And I guess that Dawn Olsen’s cautionary advice about gloating is appropriate. So maybe we shouldn’t rub in just how wrong, and morally corrupt the antiwar case was. Maybe we should rise above the temptation to point out that claims of a “quagmire” were wrong — again! — how efforts at moral equivalence were obscenely wrong — again! — how the antiwar folks are still, far too often, trying to move the goalposts rather than admit their error — again — and how an awful lot of the very same people who spoke lugubriously about “civilian casualties” now seem almost disappointed that there weren’t more — again — and how many people who spoke darkly about the Arab Street and citizens rising up against American “liberators” were proven wrong — again — as the liberators were seen as just that by the people they were liberating. And I suppose we shouldn’t stress so much that the antiwar folks were really just defending the interests of French oil companies and Russian arms-deal creditors. It’s probably a bad idea to keep rubbing that point in over and over again.
Victor Davis Hanson, April 4, 2003:
Depressed and discredited pundits now turn to dire predictions of years of turmoil in postbellum Iraq…
Despite the protestations of a return to normalcy, this present war will ever so slowly, yet markedly nonetheless, change Americaâ€™s relationships in a way unseen in the last 30 years…
In the neighborhood of the battlefield, Iran is in a unique position. The illegitimate government will have to tell its own restless population why the liberation of Iraq next door is a bad thing…
The world is upside down and we should expect some strange scenes of scrambling in the weeks ahead as side-glancing diplomats and nail-biting envoys flock to meet Mr. Powell in Washington, who â€” far from fearing those recent idiotic calls for his resignation â€” will in fact emerge as one of the most effective and powerful secretaries in recent history. Such are the ironies of war.
It will all be an interesting show.