What must it be like? Dick Cheney sitting in the U.S. compound in Iraq, more highly fortified than Fort Knox, as the windows shake, the plaster cracks, and a bomb goes off outside.

Mr. "Red Carpet," Mr. "Greeted as Liberators," Mr. "Last Throes" — now he has to explain, to all in the room, the disaster that he has created. The generals who served are now creating TV ads that denounce this administration for not listening to the troops on the ground, those in charge, as they kept telling Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush that the war was failing and that they could not control the civil strife.

We had the chance to pull out many times, starting with the moment we captured Saddam. We had the chance to turn over the job of being the policeman to the police on the ground, except that Bremer fired them.

We had the chance to either take it over with a massive troop buildup or pull back and let the Iraqis work with the Iraqis to solve the problem.

Nope. This vice president decided that he and his neo-con staff knew the answers, and now he is in the middle of what is not an "Indiana market" in the summer. Even he is under siege listening to the bombs go off. It is a situation beyond our control and as he lifts off in Air Force Two with the airfield surrounded, in the dead of night most likely, without the lights, as Bush did, he can't help but think, Damn, I'm glad to get out of here. Too bad he can't realize that most Iraqis and Americans feel the same way ... that is, when it comes to bringing the troops home.