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Hey You, Say Something Nice

October 24, 2004

We asked several critics of the war in Iraq to name one positive development and to assess, on a scale of 1 to 10, whether life will be better for Iraqis a year from now, with 10 meaning "absolutely."

Observer: Lawrence Korb

Upbeat assessment: "A lot more people are going to school than were before."

Level of optimism: 3

Vitae: Korb is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former assistant secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration.

*

Observer: Michael O'Hanlon

Upbeat assessment: "Most Iraqis seem to be positive about the future."

Level of optimism: 5

Vitae: O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

*

Observer: Peter Galbraith

Upbeat assessment: "Saddam Hussein is gone."

Level of optimism: 2

Vitae: Galbraith: senior diplomatic fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

*

Observer: Ivo Daalder

Upbeat assessment: "Saddam Hussein is removed from power and is in jail."

Level of optimism: 2-3

Vitae: Daalder is coauthor of "America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy."

*

Observer: Mark Danner

Upbeat assessment: "There is a good deal of free-press activity

Level of optimism: No response

Vitae: Danner is a professor of journalism at UC Berkeley and the Henry R. Luce professor at Bard College.

*

Observer: Brian Urquhart

Upbeat assessment: "The removal of Saddam Hussein."

Level of optimism: No response

Vitae: Urquhart is former undersecretary-general of the United Nations.

*

Observer: Juan Cole

Upbeat assessment: "The opening of the consumer market. A million new and used cars have flooded into the country, and all sorts of electronics and other consumer goods are for sale."

Level of optimism: 4

Vitae: Cole is professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan.

*

Observer: Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Upbeat assessment: "I think the whole project was incompetently perceived, planned and managed, and it's a disaster.... The removal of Saddam Hussein is the only positive thing."

Level of optimism: No response

Vitae: Schlesinger is the author, most recently, of "War and the American Presidency."

-- Compiled by Stephen W. Stromberg

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