Pictured: Peggy Noonan (right), back when bombing Libya was cool.

In the wake of Obama’s use of military force in Libya, let’s take a look back at what Nooners was saying about George W. Bush and Iraq in 2003.

He has no happy experience as a rallier of public opinion and a leader of great endeavors...Now he seems incompetent and out of his depth in foreign and military affairs. He is more observed than followed, or perhaps I should say you follow him with your eyes and not your heart. So it’s funny he’d feel free to launch and lead a war, which is what this confused and uncertain military action may become.

What was he thinking? What is he thinking?

Heh, just kidding. That was Nooners today, about Obama and Libya.

But was she equally pessimistic about a full-scale, largely unilateral invasion of Iraq? Nah.

The anti-invasion people don’t address what they think a man like Saddam will do in the future if no one stops him. Recently I asked a friend, an intellectual who is passionately antiwar and anti-Bush, what he thinks Saddam will do if we do not remove him. At first my friend dodged the question with anti-neocon invective, but when I pressed he admitted he had no idea what Saddam would do if he were not stopped—and he didn’t care.

But you have to care. It’s irresponsible not to.

I just love that obnoxiously dismissive phrase, “anti-invasion people.” Now Nooners is one of them! So irresponsible of her.

…we can’t dodge history. History won’t let us. We’ll have to deal with it, do our best, lead for the good. Iraq is part of the pattern of world terror. To move against it is a gamble. But to do nothing is a gamble too. It’s gambling on Saddam’s future goodwill, a new reluctance on his part to use what he has, a change of heart, mind and character. Does that strike you as a safe bet? A good one?

Me either.

But now, she wants to dodge history and bet on Gaddafi’s future goodwill and change of heart. Oh well.

So far so good. The war has begun, and the world hasn’t ended (alarmists, pessimists and prophets on left and right please note). Saddam Hussein may be hurt or dead. And so, on to Baghdad.

Now Nooners is now the alarmist, pessimist and prophet of armageddon. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

Needless to say, if John McCain and The Quitter were running things, Nooners would be on the White House lawn with pom-poms shouting, “On to Tripoli!” and condemning everyone who doubted the wisdom of such an action as wimpy, effete defeatists who don’t believe in America’s greatness.

This is not to say Obama was right to use force in Libya. It’s just more evidence that all the war-cheerleading during the Bush years was mostly about falling behind The Great Leader and punching hippies.