THE END OF WAR?….Chris Mooney today:

I must confess I am ecstatic at what has happened. It seems to me that this war, thus far, has proved the critics largely wrong. Sure, there were civilian and military casualties, but we knew there would be, and they have been moderate in number. This is no “holocaust” — it is a war of liberation, as the images of Iraqis toppling the statue of Saddam Hussein make painfully clear.

I suppose that now, more than ever, I remain of the generation who observed Kosovo, Afghanistan, and now Iraq, and who believes that the United States, despite its many flaws, can be a great source of good in the world.

I think this is right. I’ve always felt that the postwar reconstruction was much more important than the war itself, and I’m far from sanguine about how this will go, but the fact is that the war itself has gone about as well as could be expected. And no matter what happens next, Iraq will surely be a better place with Saddam Hussein gone.

I remain disturbed by the tone of the pro-war camp, which seems to feel that America now has the right to invade any country with a nasty dictatorship, but even given that, I think it’s good to keep things in perspective. As Chris says, despite our flaws, American power has been used far more often in a good cause than otherwise.

Now it’s time to move on, and it’s time for the administration to prove that it means what it says: we’re going to rebuild Iraq, we’re going to keep order, we’re going to put in place a better government, not just a friendlier dictatorship, and we’re not going to use Iraq as a launching pad for further wars. I also hope to see some aggressive use of diplomatic pressure to encourage our Mideast allies (as well as enemies) to incrementally open up their societies, and a full-bore effort to try and resolve (or at least improve) the current Israeli-Palestinian impasse.

Time will tell.