Mr. [Kenneth]Adelman said he hoped that ''fearmongers'' would derive some lessons about leadership from the seizure of Baghdad. President Bush had not been dissuaded by the criticism, and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain boldly stared down public opinion in his country, he said. ''I hope it emboldens leaders to drastic, not measured, approaches,'' Mr. Adelman said. ''That's the only way to make a difference in the world.''
William Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard and a strong supporter of the war, said he had been deeply affected by the images of the statue of Mr. Hussein tumbling in downtown Baghdad, which he compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall. ''I was moved and relieved,'' he said. A former aide to Vice President Dan Quayle, Mr. Kristol said the American victory in Iraq could go far to dispel some of the self-doubt and isolationist impulses brought on by the Vietnam War....This is a little bit of a Vietnam in reverse, I would argue.''
William J. Bennett, another early advocate of the war, said the United States was on the verge of an extraordinary rout of a totalitarian system, and close to capturing a nation the size of California with minimal troops. ''This will go down as one of the great military efforts of all time,'' said Mr. Bennett, who was education secretary and drug czar under President Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush.