The Two-Year Anniversary of the War in Iraq

Saturday is the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq (search), the toppling of Saddam Hussein, the Iraq war and all that has gone along with it.

It's not an occasion for dancing in the streets, but more a time to think about what we did and whether it was the right thing.

Of course, 1500 Americans have been killed, thousands wounded, and billions of dollars spent. So it was not an undertaking that should have been either lightly considered or lightly reconsidered.

We're in the reconsideration phase now, and I just don't see how anyone can argue it should not have been done, with the possible exception of those who have lost loved ones. Obviously their profound loss leads them to believe they could have gotten along fine without the war.

But others of us should look at the war with more of an eye toward the very big picture.

Does anybody think that democracy would be on the march in the Arab world if Saddam Hussein were still on his throne, mooning the authority of the rest of the world?

Does anybody seriously think that continuing a centuries-old tradition of saddling Arab peoples with tyrannical strong man regimes was going to work out well for Americans — considering we are to blame for supporting some of those regimes, like the Saudi princes who we enrich with every mile we drive?

OK, maybe one could say we don't know if this is going to work out well for us in the long run, but at this moment you would have to say it looks like it will. It looks like U.S. efforts to free Arabs from tyranny might give young Arab men and woman something else to do than figure out how to bomb America.

Yes, it's not a done deal. But who can seriously argue that it would have been better to continue as we were and take our chances on more angry Islamists gearing up for more murderous attacks?

You might still hear John Kerry or the like argue that it should have and could have been done better. OK, let's say they're right.

But the real question is not whether it might have been done better, but if anybody else would have done it at all.

That's My Word.

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