Why are we in Iraq?

"Look, there is a cease-fire between the United States and Iraq. Iraq is violating that cease-fire every hour of every day, and has never complied." Under international law, when one party is breaking a cease-fire, the way you deal with that is to say the cease-fire is over. We might have ended up with a less complex relationship with some of our allies if we had done it that way."
Walter Russell Mead

The anti-war activists, being duplicitous as usual, are criticizing one argument and using it to discredit another argument. In other words, they are using Bush's post war failures in order to discredit the pre-war reasons for going into Iraq. Not to fast.

Mead has the primary reason we went into Iraq: Iraq was violating a cease fire. Our policy before 9/11 was to contain Saddam with a mixture of sanctions, no fly zones, and pin pointed strikes. The benefit of this, as post war inspections have found out, is that it looks like Saddam was prevented from reconstituting his stockpiles of WMD.

The cost of this containment policy was the following
1) We had to keep troops in Saudi Arabia solely to protect that country from attack. This outraged Muslims in the Middle East breeding Al-Queda (9/11 connection established
2) We starved Iraq into massive poverty.
3) This containment did not stop terrorists from flooding into Iraq. As David Kay, the chief weapons inspector said, "Iraq was attracting terrorists like honey attracts flies" (This is not something any sitting President can allow to happen. You cannot allow a defiant Saddam Hussein, who refuses to cooperate with weapons inspectors to remain in power, while also allowing terrorists to flood his country. As Kay said, the situation was deteriorating)

Perhaps prior to 9/11 this was the best we could do

However, post 9/11 war was inevitable. You cannot assert, as Bush did, that you will make no distinction between terrorists and terrorist supporting states, and try to credibly prevent WMD from getting into the hands of the terrorists, and leave Saddam in power. The world perceived Iraq as violating our sanctions and with us not responding. Thus, we had to remove him to put some teeth into our policy. It had to be done, get over it.

Has Bush made mistakes? Yes. He should have sold the war as a violation of a cease-fire agreement instead of harping on the WMD. Secondly, he should have coordinated a better plan for a post war Iraq. But this does not destroy the underlying reasons for the Iraq war. They have and will remain correct. What the Bush critics should be doing, but are not, is to come up with a solution to WINNING this war.

But then again, when have the democrats come up with anything worth listening to in the past 3 years??