DB and I argued plenty of times about Iraq. I've held the conservative and theoretically Republican position, the war was justified, the threat real, and the goal of breaking a very threatening dictator a very valid one.
After all, Saddam had used WMD, he'd made no secret of trying to obtain bigger and better ones, he tried to kill a former U.S. president, missle'd Israel, provided at least some intelligence support and monitary support to terrorists, and was an all around bad guy. If he could harm the U.S., he would. And our intelligence services, and others, told us that he had WMD and was headed towards nukes. What a nightmare, better to deal with it now than later.
Minor problem: The intelligence services used the same sources Saddam used to check the status of his 'weapons', they were lying to him and we read the lies. He bought his own propaganda, so did we. If anyone had actually bothered to assess Iraq, they would have realized the actual potential to be annoying and possibly bothersome (on a world wide scale), something far less than an actual threat, while providing a regional balance of counter-threat and, surprisingly, thereby regional stability. Kind of a balance of bad, no one country could stir up too much trouble because they would have to turn their back on each other, not a safe thing to do.
So I supported the president and the flexing of American muscles in Iraq. And, unknowingly, shot myself in the foot.
Because today there are real threats. News headline, "HERE WE GO AGAIN: PAPER: IRAN'S PLOT TO MINE URANIUM IN AFRICA..."
The problem, the title, "Here We Go Again". Real threat, Iran has gone absolutely crazy, their leader is serious about genocide and possibly intentionally starting a nuclear war. Real, and being really discounted, because people don't like to be burned twice.
So unfortunately, because of bad reasoning, or rather bad leadership for the last war, the next war, which is really really needed before it's really really serious, it's probably going to have to get really really serious before it will be.
Thanks President Bush. Good thought, bad analysis, mediocre execution, bad occupation, and the real target doing all the things you were blaming on Iraq is a few more miles east. Oops.