Here's a refreshing response to those many many pieces you've read about how democracy failed because the demonstrators of 15 February 2003 didn't win the day. William Brett writes that 'For some of us, Iraq was not the moment we lost faith in politics. It was the moment we understood what politics is for.' Again:
For [Laurie] Penny and [Owen] Jones, the failure of parliament to reflect the wishes of the anti-war protest was a failure of democracy. The manner in which dissent was ignored appears to them as a bitter betrayal. But for me, the debate - not just in parliament but also in the press, and in homes, shops and pubs – made things better. As we talked and talked about it - and remember that Iraq divided publics and parliaments all over the world - it became clear that there were no easy answers. Both available courses of action were fraught with danger and unintended consequences. It seemed that parliament was struggling to deal with this, just as I was.
Brett tells us he was 20 at the time. He was evidently more mature politically than a lot of ageing partisans of the 'we marched but they didn't listen' school of thought. (Via @JohnRentoul.)