Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
It's never easy, actually impossible, to determine whether an action is valid or not based on events that did not happen, since their not happening would make it a non-event. Someone who could have assassinated Hitler because he was able to predict World War II, would simply be tried as a murderer and not a savior of over ten million people. If Bill Clinton had taken Bin Laden into custody when offered, there would have been no 9-11 but clinton would have been regarded as someone who disregarded the rules.
So what were the conditions surrounding the attack on Iraq? Let's examine them. We have 9-11, to begin with. We have a terrorist organization claiming responsibility, supposedly holed up in Afghanistan. We declare a war on terror and attack Afghanistan. Next door we have Iraq, controlled by a dictator who has sworn hatred for the United States. This dictator claims to have weapons of mass destruction and, based on the fact that he used them to kill hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen and the fact that for years he has defied every U.N. attempt to inspect, the world believes him. I do not think it is unreasonable to believe that terrorists on the run from Afghanistan could find safe refuge in Iraq, under control of a madman who shared their hatred for the US and democracy. It is also reasonable to believe that, given the opportunity, Hussein would either use, or facilitate the use of, the weapons he swore to have in further attacks on the United States, still reeling from 9-11.
What to do in a war on terror? Leave Iraq alone in Hussein's hands or remove it as a threat? If he does it, as he did, the threat is compromised. Would it be the right thing to do? Who can say? Any attack that would have occured either from Iraq or from terrorists based in Iraq, would not happen (as none have) so there would be no way to know. If he doesn't do it and an attack or another 9-11 would occur, you can be sure of one thing. Everyone who is now villifying the takeover of Iraq, would be screaming at the top of their lungs,"Why didn't Bush DO something???", citing the same reasons I pointed out above. HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!!!
It was not a war on Afghanistan, it was a war on terror. Anyway you look at it, it was a no-win decision.
Jennifer and Bob like to refer to the one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians who have died since the invasion. They, however, both omit the facts that reports state that over 25,000 children per year died of starvation under Hussein's rule. Multiply that times seven and then add in the uncounted thousands who were taken from their houses and sent to prison, never to be seen again, or wound up in the many mass burial gravesites that have since been uncovered. I think you will come up with a figure that makes one hundred thousand look fairly paltry. The loss of the U.S. (and other country's) soldier's is certainly a sad situation and, yet, one wonders why so very many of the soldiers returning state they they believe in the cause and were willing to risk the sacrifice to make the difference being made there.
It's simply a "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. If it was the right decision, we'll never know. If it was the wrong decision, we'll never know that, either, but it will continue to give fodder to those who want to bash the decision. It was a preventative decision. What it may have prevented or might prevent in the future, we'll never know that, either.
These are my thoughts and opinions. Arguing with me for having them will not change them at all.