In its editorial today, The Washington Post goes to some lengths to put a good face on the Duelfer report about Iraq's phantom weapons of <$NoAd$>mass destruction.
One interesting passage notes what we might call the geopolitical educational benefits of the invasion ...
As long as Saddam Hussein remained in power and refused to cooperate fully with the United Nations, there could have been no certainty about his weapons. Mr. Bush had to decide whether the risks of invading outweighed those of standing pat without knowing for sure what U.S. forces would find in Iraq or what would happen once they were there.
Because Mr. Bush chose to act, we know what capabilities Iraq did -- and did not -- possess, and we've learned how difficult it is to occupy and attempt to reconstruct that country.
So, it is only thanks Mr. Bush's decision to invade that we can now have the certainty we do about how wrong he was about Iraqi WMD.
Similarly, Bush's decision to invade has gained us invaluable new insights into urban guerilla warfare and how badly an occupation can go wrong.
I think I now have a better understanding of what the president and his supporters mean when they call Iraq a 'catastrophic success.'