What he said.
People who supported the Iraq invasion and are now becoming squeamish are very keen on this idea that "it doesn't matter how we got there, we have to find a way forward, etc."
But it really does matter. If a man attacks someone with a knife on the street, and the two become locked in battle, it is absurd for the man who did the initial stabbing to say "well, now that this fight seems to have evened out a bit, it's cetainly immaterial who attacked whom."
It is not immaterial at all. That should be obvious to anyone with any shred of sense. People who supported the Iraq war based on the idea that Saddam Hussein was ready to acquire a nuclear weapon (the only real Weapon of Mass Destruction, if we're realistic) are probably feeling a little disoriented by the recent effort by the right wing noise machine, led by Little Green Footballs and other bastions of automatized defense of the Bush White House, to claim that the Bush administration never tried to hide the fact that the war was mostly about "spreading democracy."
But in reality, the Little Green Football Folk are right. The effort to sell the war based on any credible threat Saddam posed to America was half-assed at best. Anyone who looked beneath the surface (a group that unfortunately included almost no one in the mainstream media) would have seen that the pronouncements of the various Executive Branch spokespeople leading up to the war painted a very complex, almost inscrutable picture of the reasons for war.
Bush said himself before the war, publicly, that it did not matter if Saddam disarmed completely or even if he suddenly fled the country - the invasion would proceed anyway. This fact was reported by the major newspapers but has remained unremarked-upon for over two years.
To put it quite bluntly, the majority of the U.S. population who supported the Iraq war in March of 2003 may believe they were duped by a duplicitous president (or, for those who still cling to the fading image of a congenitally honest George W. Bush, merely an incompetent one), but the facts show otherwise. Supporters of this disaster of an invasion, which proceeded without Security Council authorization and over the protests off tens of millions of people around the world, supported the invasion because they like war.
This subject is of course quite taboo. Almost no one will admit to liking war as a general rule. But people's actions reveal what they are really like, as opposed to what they claim to be like.
Of course, in a sense we cannot blame these people. In our society the consequences for supporting a war that goes bad are essentially none, while the consequences for supporting a war that merely fails, but does not lead to widespread loss of American life (such as the war in Afghanistan, which has cost "only" a few hundred American soldiers dead and wounded) are severe.
As I've noted before, MoveOn.org and Michael Moore have both gone to great lengths to cover up the fact that they opposed the Afghanistan invasion, presumably due to fears that having opposed a war that remains popular among Americans would result in too much of a drain on "credibility" with the American public.
But somehow the Washington Post doesn't have to pretend it opposed the Iraq war simply because most Americans now believe it was based on lies, and not worth fighting. There is no loss of credibility, apparently, associated with full-throated support of an illegal, foolhardy failure that kills and maims thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
A society with this kind of doctrinal structure is sure to get involved in bad wars, over and over and over again. The first step in preventing the next Iraq is calling the people who got us into this one to account.