Who’s protesting now?

WARMONGER CLAIM: The length of the war in Iraq would be maybe “five days, five weeks, but not five months,” according to Secretary Rumsfeld earlier this year. Score one for ole Doomster Don. As of day 23 of the war, the statues of Saddam in Iraq are goin’ down faster than the free Beano at a chili cookoff. The war is not yet over, sayeth the Pentagon, but it probably will be by the time you read this.

W.C.: On Meet the Press in early March, Vice President Cheney asserted that Iraqi civilians would greet our troops as they entered Iraqi cities and hail them as liberators. While this didn’t happen early on, it has become a common scene on our tubes in the last couple of weeks. And while it’s true that much of the hailing was suspended because the cheerers were too busy stealing desks, computers and cinder blocks, it’s also true that, for a time, there was indeed cheering and welcoming. Therefore, chalk one up for Cheney.

PEACENIK CLAIM: Our troops, upon invading Iraq, would so agitate the dormant cells of Al Qaida and other terrorist groups that the United States, United Kingdom and other countries of Europe would be assaulted by a new wave of murder and sabotage. So far, there has not been one pop, peep or poop out of any terrorist group. While this could change at any second, it is also undeniable that, for the time being, it has gone very well for the coalition on this front.

P.C.: Once the war started, the price of oil and gas would go through the roof. Well, weirdly enough, the price of oil has dropped ever since that first bunker buster said howdy-do, and it has been dropping slowly, but steadily, since.

W.C.: Once we got in country with our troops, we would finally find all those nasty Weapons of Mass Destruction that the crafty Hussein had been able to hide from U.N. inspectors. As I write, we’ve come up with a grand total of zilch barrels of chemical and biological weapons.

That means the score at this time, Friday April 11, is Warmongers 4, Peaceniks 2, with peaceniks getting double points for the troubling lack of WMDs.

I know many of you would rather drink a smoothie of peach pulp and piss before you would even consider giving Dubya a pat on the back. I understand. But the story of this war right now is not about Bush failing, but about Bush succeeding. Sure, there are plenty of speed bumps ahead, such as reconstruction bickering (coalition vs. United Nations) and the ongoing need to appease the ever-edgy Turks. One would also hope that Iraqi looters would be exhausted by now.

Right now, though, the objective conclusion can only be that President Bush’s risky "best-case scenario" appears to be taking place. And really, that’s not such a bad thing. It could be a lot worse. But someone better get a choke chain around Rumsfeld if he starts seriously eyeballing Syria.