These were the two cases. They existed -- both of them -- before the conflict. They had, as Packer details, high profile adherents. The anti-war case was internally coherent, rigorous, and in the final analysis, utterly correct. Not accidentally correct, but accurate in its particulars and predictions. No wonder those who got it wrong are so anxious to argue that nobody truly got it right.In a related topic, Atrios has been taking Shadi Hamid to task for basically being a pro-war voice. When someone writes approvingly about the members of the Democratic Party who were most explicitly rejected in the last election -- the faux-bipartisan, "serious people" who supported the war -- you've written yourself a ticket for a blogosphere-style smackdown. If Atrios hadn't done it, somebody else would have.
The larger point for the Democrats would be: could we please, please think up some foreign policy that doesn't amount to Republican-lite, "the US should slap around small countries when necessary"? It's alarming how at ease the nominal "left" of the foreign policy consensus is with the idea of America maintaining a unilateral foreign policy based on some nebulous idea that global security is dependent on America being able to smack the Iraq of the 2010s.