John, you misread William Safire’s year-end prediction column. He wrote it as a multiple choice quiz, with a variety of predictions under every category. Thus, he did not predict a Dow at 15,000, that was merely one of four choices. Similarly, a “shaky democracy” in Iraq was only one of four choices.
Like Safire, I have little confidence in my ability to predict anything. I confine myself to saying, either the U.S. will kill Moqtada al Sadr, or we won’t. If we do, there is some chance of overall political success in Iraq. If we don’t, we might as well get out now and let the civil war begin.