Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I Said That? (NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, New York Times April 22, 2003)

Last September, a gloom-and-doom columnist warned about Iraq: "If we're going to invade, we need to prepare for a worst-case scenario involving street-to-street fighting."

Ahem. Yes, well, that was my body double while I was on vacation.

Since I complained vigorously about this war before it started, it's only fair for me to look back and acknowledge that many of the things that I — along with other doves — worried about didn't happen. So let's look back, examine the record and offer some preliminary accountability.

Despite my Cassandra columns, Iraq never carried out terrorist attacks in the U.S. or abroad, it didn't use chemical or biological weapons, and it didn't launch missiles against Israel in hopes of triggering a broader war. Turkey has not invaded northern Iraq to attack the Kurds.

So let me start by tipping my hat to administration planners whose work reduced those risks. For example, one reason Iraq did not attack Israel may have been the Special Operations forces in the western desert of Iraq, where the launches would have come from. And belated pressure from Washington has kept Turkey out of the war so far.

A good honest evaluation in the aftermath of war.

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