AL THE PRESCIENT. In comments to my previous post, a commenter brings up an obvious example of a critic of the Iraq War who made many clearly correct arguments: Al Gore. Read his September 2002 speech, and you'll immediately see that claims that the war's critics were inevitably as wrong as its supporters are beyond ludicrous (particularly since the parts of Gore's speech that hold up least well are those where he gives too much credit to the administration and its apologists.) And as Bob Somerby tirelessly reminds us, it's also worth remembering the reaction to Gore's speech. An even more clownish than usual Michael Kelly, for example, opined that it was "very nearly [bereft] of facts -- bereft of anything other than taunts and jibes and embarrassingly obvious lies ... It was wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible. But I understate." John Podhoretz -- whose analysis of Iraq was about as convincing as his claim that the Ron Howard mediocrity (but I repeat myself) Cinderella Man is one of the greatest movies ever made -- sneered that "[i]t is now clear that Al Gore is insane." The idea that Gore and his critics were equally wrong couldn't be sillier.

UPDATE: As Bob notes in comments, James Webb also got it right in 2002.

--Scott Lemieux

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