In Retrospect

With all due respect to both Scott Lemieux and Al Gore himself, I don't actually think Gore's Commonwealth Club speech before the war was all that prescient. Frankly, I think expecting people to accurately forecast exactly how a war is going to go south is an unreasonable bar to set, so I don't take anything away from Gore (he certainly didn't deserve this) but re-reading the speech isn't like looking into a crystal ball.

By contrast, given the objective difficulty of the task, I think the Iraq section of Howard Dean's February 12, 2003 speech at Drake University is strikingly spot-on. It's notable, in particular, because Dean, has never really acquired a reputation as a national security thinker, even among his fans. The Dean speech is also noteworthy for containing a perfectly good proposal for, even at the late date, extricating the USA from the situation in a favorable manner.