Imagine if the Bush administration had gone into Iraq, found a nuclear arsenal, the ponies had appeared, happy fun time Democracy spread through the Middle East like wildfire, 6 months and a few billion bucks later we mostly got the hell out of there, having to wade through piles of rose petals on the way out, and a grateful Iraqi population lived happily ever after in their secular pro-Israel, pro-US Democracy.
Now imagine just how marginalized all of the war opponents would have been? Imagine how none of these people would've ever appeared on the teevee again, having been proved so wrong that none of them were ever welcome back as participants in our mainstream public discourse again.
Oh wait, that part isn't hard to imagine, because even though they weren't proved wrong, it's already the case.
I share Atrios' frustration in that the people who were dead wrong about every aspect of the Iraq debacle are still being treated like experts by the media while the critics of the invasion who practically nailed every problem before it developed are still sidelined and ignored.