Obviously we don't know what might have been in Iraq. Maybe Saddam and his brutal minions would have killed an equal number of Iraqis before they gave way to a new government - which may have been even worse. Maybe the country would have come apart after Saddam's death and led to an equal number killed. Maybe all possible roads that diverged from America's decision to invade involved considerably more dead Iraqis than the one we took. All of that is very plausible. But you can't ignore the fact that the road we took resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Iraqis. If Goldberg and other war supporters want to make the omelet/egg argument about their lives and the creation of a new democracy, fine. But I think it's difficult to try to take credit for the emergence of a democratic government in Iraq without simultaneously taking "credit" (or rather, responsibility) for the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed to get there.

Or the trillions of dollars. Or the thousands of American fatalities and tens of thousands of crippling life-long injuries. Or the massive damage to American credibility. Or the wreckage to the European alliance. Or the boon to the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. Or the likelihood that well over 50,000 US troops will be there for the duration. Apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, the play was quite fabulous.

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