And while I cannot claim to be the very first to say it, I was ahead of the curve by a similar amount in my April 2006 speculation that she was not collateral damage of the hit on her husband, but perhaps the real target.
Joe Cannon builds the case here.
Update: Me, 2004:
18 months ago, George W. Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln and delivered a victory speech before a banner that proclaimed "mission accomplished." Since then, more than 900 American soldiers have died in the chaos of Iraq, with no end in sight. If you think that is evidence of failure, you aren't paying attention. In fact, Bush could have proclaimed victory in the war he really cares about the moment the first bomb dropped on Baghdad.
If you start from the naïve assumption that the Bush Administration means what it says, you perforce reach the conclusion that the invasion of Iraq has been a failure, and that the goals of its anti-terror policies hover near a horizon too hazy to make out whether we are gaining or losing ground. But this view is based upon false assumptions. We are in fact exactly where George Bush wants us to be: endless war.
If you reverse-engineer administration policy from the consequences of its actions, this conclusion is inescapable. What are the results of being quicksanded in Iraq? Young Americans come home in boxes, of course, but we know that Bush has never lost sleep sending others to their deaths.
Seemingly unnoticed is the remarkable coincidence that the other effects created by this administration's policies are all manna to its masters. High oil prices fatten Saudi royals and American oil barons alike. The endless cycle of bombing and rebuilding in Iraq is a windfall of unprecedented scale to companies like Halliburton, who deliver munitions and reconstruction projects in equal measure.
Jim Holt, London Review of Books, last week:
Iraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit strategy’.
Among the winners: oil-services companies like Halliburton; the oil companies themselves (the profits will be unimaginable, and even Democrats can be bought); US voters, who will be guaranteed price stability at the gas pump (which sometimes seems to be all they care about); Europe and Japan, which will both benefit from Western control of such a large part of the world’s oil reserves, and whose leaders will therefore wink at the permanent occupation; and, oddly enough, Osama bin Laden, who will never again have to worry about US troops profaning the holy places of Mecca and Medina, since the stability of the House of Saud will no longer be paramount among American concerns. Among the losers is Russia, which will no longer be able to lord its own energy resources over Europe. Another big loser is Opec, and especially Saudi Arabia, whose power to keep oil prices high by enforcing production quotas will be seriously compromised.