It is distressing to see, time and again, that hindsight is not 20 20. There are principles of human behavior that transcend ‘will’ and ‘purpose.’ No country can be relied upon to fight indefinitely when not in their interest, no matter what commitment was given prior: such as the U.S. in Indochina. No country can be relied upon to roll over, when national interest is perceived to be threatened when means exist to fight, no matter that they have given way on peripheral issues: such as Britain standing up for Poland.
The tragedy of the personal incompetence of President Bush is that it will leave behind the opportunity to believe that the outcome in Iraq could have been otherwise: when interventions will always fail in their goals. I try to explain that, but beliefs will challenged, and you may have to unlearn them. And man, is that hard.