Please give DHinMi, DemFromCT, Theoria, Trapper John and Tom Schaller a hand for their great coverage this week as business kept me away from blogging. I don't know what I'd do without them.
Also, here's a few quotes that have added salience these days:
Dick Cheney (NBC Meet The Press, March 16, 2003)
Cheney: The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but that they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that. [...]
Russert: The army's top general said that we would have to have several hundred thousand troops there for several years in order to maintain stability.
Cheney: I disagree. We need, obviously, a large force and we've deployed a large force. To prevail, from a military standpoint, to achieve our objectives, we will need a significant presence there until such time as we can turn things over to the Iraqis themselves. But to suggest that we need several hundred thousand troops there after military operations cease, after the conflict ends, I don't think is accurate. I think that's an overstatement.
(Washington Post, February 13, 2002
I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps. Richard Perle
(Knight Ridder, March 29, 2003
Richard Perle, an influential former Pentagon official who is close to Rumsfeld, reportedly gave a briefing to Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs 10 days ago in which he predicted that the war would last no longer than three weeks. "And there is a good chance that it will be less than that," he said.David Frum
(National Review, February 24, 2003
But there is good news: If the preparations for the Iraq round of the war on terror have gone very, very slowly, the Iraq fight itself is probably going to go very, very fast. The shooting should be over within just a very few days from when it starts. The sooner the fighting begins in Iraq, the nearer we are to its imminent end. Which means, in other words, that this "rush to war" should really be seen as the ultimate "rush to peace."
So let's see... wrong, wrong, wrong and, um, yeah -- wrong.