There’s a great commentary piece by Michael S. Malone over on ABCNews.com (linked above) about how impossible it is to wage a war without making mistakes. Malone doesn’t talk about whether the war in Iraq was justified (and says he won’t talk about it), but talks instead about the nature of war in general.
Basically, there is no such thing as a mistake-free war. In any armed conflict, civilians will be killed unintentionally. In any war, troops on both sides will die. It’s the nature of the beast, not the mismanagement by the commander-in-chief, that causes this.
It’s a good read and provides some good context, and it’s especially worth considering because John Kerry is campaigning on how he would’ve gone into Iraq without making “Bush’s mistakes” when, in fact, the war would have been just as mistake-prone with anybody else at the helm (again, the discussion over whether the war was justified in the first place is another thing entirely).