Joshua Micah Marshall: Reality-Based Columnist
Joshua not only says the war was a mistake, but also says we were insufficiently careful in being absolutely sure Iraq and al-Qaeda were conspiring to attack us before invading Iraq to prevent such a collaborative attack, and frsnkly I totally agree.
A much better approach (rather than rushing to war just because Saddam wouldn't explain where his WMD were, every intelligence agency on earth said he had stockpiles of them, there were numerous ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda, Russian intelligence was telling us Saddam planned to attack the U.S., and we recently lost 3000 Americans on 9/11 and wanted to prevent another even worse attack) would have been to wait until the sanctions regime had collapsed, Saddam's vast network of WMD labs were up and running again and possibly supplying al-Qaeda, and then wait and see whether tens of thousands more Americans were killed in the resulting terror attacks. The important issue is not whether Saddam would have a nuclear deterrent by then, making it impossible for us to respond militarily. The important point is that after a couple months of sifting through the charred and disfigured corpses of our friends and families, we would (maybe) have proof of WMD plus a collaborative al-Qaeda connection, and the French would have to be on our side (assuming they would disregard their billions in Iraqi oil deals). Plus, dead Americans would generate worldwide sympathy (it works for Israel, right? oops, scratch that) which is much more important than whether we are actually doing worthwhile and noble things like freeing 50 million from brutal, tyrannical police states and creating consensual democratic governments in their place.
All this pre-emption talk is just nutty.