One commenter on an earlier remorse attacked my "buyers remorse" on Iraq. This is a bit of a sore point, so let me explain.
There was a fine piece written by Ken Pollack in the New Republic (linked above) essentially arguing the following, which I find persuasive:
a) There was a very compelling argument, in the abstract, for a military invasion of Iraq. Even without WMD, the fact is that the status quo in Iraq was not a stable position--both for humanitarian and geopolitical reasons, you couldn't keep Iraq "in a box" (under sanctions plus no-fly zone, etc.) for much longer. Therefore you either normalized (which would make the WMD issues more pressing with each passing year) or you invaded. I still find this a compelling argument and one hard to counter, in the abstract.
b) However, the argument in (a) depends upon implementation issues, that is, ones confidence that the invasion and post-conflict activities would be handled sensibly and correctly. Too many folks (including me) dealt with the argument only at the level of (a) without dealing with the questions at the level of (b)--again, this is something Pollack argued effectively. In essence, we were too trusting that the self-interest of the administration would cause them to handle the conduct of the war and post-war in the right way.
c) The bottom line is that the administration did not deal with the issues at the level of (b) that they could have adequately planned for. Obviously, war throws up all kinds of unforseen consequences, and it's unfair to blame the administration for things that almost no one anticipated. But any number of dimensions, the administration clearly blew things where they should have known better. Not enough troops--check. Unrealistic belief that they'd be treated universally as liberators--check. Battle plan designed aimed just to quickly destroy Saddam's army, but not to pacify territory once taken--check. Failure the utilize the compendious post-war planning that people in the executive branch had actually conducted--check. One can go on. Almost all of these things can be chalked up to ideological blindness, a willingness to believe that because the cause was just (a) that the implementation questions didn't need to be grappled with seriously.
d) The big question, in my mind, is whether Democratic hawks like me should have anticipated the complete failure of the administration to deal with the implementation issues effectively and, as a result, should have opposed the war not because of its justification, but because of our distrust of the current administration. Again, as a number of the TNR writers noted in the symposium of which Pollack's piece was a part, this would have required a level of partisanship that, at the time, I wasn't willing to entertain. I think for fear of being grouped in with the Deaniacs, it is probably the case that I didn't approach the issue with the level of partisanship that was actually appropriate to the situation.
In terms of the present election, however, I think that Kerry should hit the administration repeatedly, relentlessly, and as harshly as the situation requires on precisely this point: that the administration took a just war and just completely blew it. And if they blew something this important, can we trust them with four more years? My answer is an unambiguous no.