A reader writes:

Is it true, as you wrote, that "people much further away from the levers of power saw more clearly than we did"?  Or is it possible their judgement, given the facts known at the time, was unsound and only redeemed by events and administration decisions they could not foresee, ie., too few troops, dissolution of the army, rejection of the Baathists, thousands of suicide bombers lined up for miles ready to blow Iraqi society into chaos, etc?  Their judgement that invading Iraq was a mistake turned out to be correct, but only in hindsight, not foresight.  Which begs the question - was the chaos in Iraq inevitable?  We will never know the answer, but not knowing the answer does not mean the pre-war naysayers "saw more clearly than we did."