I get the bad feeling that there is a new sense in the air: a sense that there will be no victory, not even with the defeat of Hussein. If 9-11 did not change the entirety of global history, perhaps this administration has managed to do just that.
Where Have You Gone, Condi Rice? [time.com] - "The administration would be wise to adopt a more nuanced approach to Iraq.
... Cheerleading is a plausible presidential function, I suppose, but an odd thing has happened to Bush as the war has progressed. He has not grown in stature or gravitas, as wartime leaders usually do; he may have diminished. He seems imprisoned in a bleak, hortatory rhetoric of simple sentences and simpler ideas. Freedom good. Tyranny bad. We Tarzan, world Jane.
... [C]omplexities argue for subtle, careful postwar diplomacy. That seems unlikely. The Pentagon has control of the post-war plan, which makes some sense in the short term: the U.S. military is the only institution that can restore order to Iraq. But it seems plain that an extended military occupation—and, particularly, an interim government run by a retired American general with interim ministers including James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA, and other assorted neoconservative bravos—will further alienate our allies and lead much of the world to suspect that imperialism was our purpose all along.