Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Poll

best of three?

Syracuse
 9 (75%)
Albany
 1 (8.3%)
Akron
 2 (16.7%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Author Topic: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?  (Read 10027 times)

nekko

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2005, 09:46:26 PM »
Quote
Other options to war are always preferable.  War is preferable only when there are no other options left to exercise. 
But what does that mean? What constitutes no other options? Is war only justified when you've been invaded (thus the U.S. would not have been justified entering WWII prior to the Pearl Harbor attack)? Just glibly saying other options to war are always preferable is meaningless.

Quote
The evidence you give for why war was a good choice is really a moot cause.  This was not a war where the evidence to go to war tilted the scales so heavily that we had no choice.  Rather, the decision to go to war was decided far before we began making a case for it.  Instead of basing the decision on strong evidence, we tried to conform weak evidence in a manner that somehow supported this predetermined decision.
Your argument really doesn't say anything. You say the evidence presented is irrelevant because the decision to go to war had already been made. That's like saying Pearl Harbor as a reason for entering WWII was irrelevant because it is clear from history that FDR had always intended to enter the war on the side of the allies. Even if the war was preordained that doesn't change the factual basis for or against war.

Quote
In this case, we knew Iraq was not a threat to us.  We knew Iraq was not a threat to it's neighboring countries.
Not a threat to us in what sense? In the sense that Iraq couldn't conquer the United States? Sure. In the sense that it was not a threat to our interests? False. We knew Iraq was not a threat to its neighboring countries contingent upon our continued presence both in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait to maintain regional security. That is quite different than saying we knew Iraq was not a threat to its neighboring countries.

Quote
And we knew Iraq possessed no WMD.
And we also know
1) That the various reports indicating there is no WMD also indicate that Saddam intended to develop a WMD capability once oversight was removed.
2) That on-going inspections had proven to be almost impossible to maintain over any significant period of time.
3) Historically based on our experience after the First Gulf War, Iraqi WMD capability had far exceeded our previous estimates based on international inspections from the past.
4) Once Iraq had WMD capability it would've been too late. A country in possession of WMD creates a deterrent making future intervention virtually impossible (see N. Korea).
Just to note the claim wasn't that Iraq had WMD. If you recall the arguments in Congress at the time and the statements at the time the argument revolved around stopping Iraq from obtaining WMD. Thus the argument that it was a preventative war rather than a pre-emptive war.

Quote
Over 100,000 innocent women and children killed by coalition forces, thousands of US soldiers dead, a continuing growing number of insurgents that now outnumber US forces, a still deteriorating US image around the world, Bin Laden still roaming free, Iran and North Korea more dangerous than Iraq ever was, and a country still out of control with no real end in sight.
Contrast that with
A) If we believe various reports about the sanctions over the period sanctions were in place (specifically the 1991-1998 period) there were 100,000-227,000 deaths for children under 5. I assume some level of mortality assigned to sanctions for those above age 5 though probable concentrated on the opposite end of the age spectrum.
B) I think the Iraqi election was a good thing don't you? Especially since off-hand I can't recall a remotely moderate election in Iraq for at least a hundreds of years.
C) We did get rid of a dictator who's brutality was remarkable even compared to the various horrors that have been inflicted on populations from Stalin to Pol Pot.
D) Bin Laden roaming free is an issue? Will terrorism go away if we get rid of Bin Laden? It'd be nice to get him but remember that it would be more of a PR victory than a substantive victory.
E) The further impact it has had on the Middle East generally (i.e. progress in Lebanon, allowing us to remove troops from Saudi Arabia, etc.).

Alright I really need to work on school.

3Peat

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2005, 10:36:07 PM »
Quote
Other options to war are always preferable.  War is preferable only when there are no other options left to exercise. 
But what does that mean? What constitutes no other options? Is war only justified when you've been invaded (thus the U.S. would not have been justified entering WWII prior to the Pearl Harbor attack)? Just glibly saying other options to war are always preferable is meaningless.

That means that war is ALWAYS the last resort.  That seems plain enough.  Iraq was not presenting a threat becasue it wanted to build a set of weapons.  ALL countries want weapons and Iraq needed weapons to deter Iran from aggression.  Iraw had not bombed us and presented no capability nor intent to do so.

Quote
The evidence you give for why war was a good choice is really a moot cause.  This was not a war where the evidence to go to war tilted the scales so heavily that we had no choice.  Rather, the decision to go to war was decided far before we began making a case for it.  Instead of basing the decision on strong evidence, we tried to conform weak evidence in a manner that somehow supported this predetermined decision.
Your argument really doesn't say anything. You say the evidence presented is irrelevant because the decision to go to war had already been made. That's like saying Pearl Harbor as a reason for entering WWII was irrelevant because it is clear from history that FDR had always intended to enter the war on the side of the allies. Even if the war was preordained that doesn't change the factual basis for or against war.
i think that the OP was refering to the corruptness of the Bush regime in preplanning a war wiht Iraq before a reason existed.  He trumped up the dangers of WMD to the US and people bought it.
Quote
In this case, we knew Iraq was not a threat to us.  We knew Iraq was not a threat to it's neighboring countries.
Not a threat to us in what sense? In the sense that Iraq couldn't conquer the United States? Sure. In the sense that it was not a threat to our interests? False. We knew Iraq was not a threat to its neighboring countries contingent upon our continued presence both in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait to maintain regional security. That is quite different than saying we knew Iraq was not a threat to its neighboring countries.
If Iraq was not a threat to us then how can we invade and risk US lives?  HAve you ever fired a shot or been shot at?  Ever put on a uniform?  The fact that Iraq was a threat to our interests is a moot and almost irrelevant point since nearly EVERY country is a threat to our interests in some way.  How was Iraq actively threatening us?
Quote
And we knew Iraq possessed no WMD.
And we also know
1) That the various reports indicating there is no WMD also indicate that Saddam intended to develop a WMD capability once oversight was removed.

Like i said, everyone wants WMD for protection and regional parity so this only shows that Saddam was rational
2) That on-going inspections had proven to be almost impossible to maintain over any significant period of time.
Why?  There were no weapons to be found so i guess it can be frustrating looking for something that isnt there
3) Historically based on our experience after the First Gulf War, Iraqi WMD capability had far exceeded our previous estimates based on international inspections from the past.
and...?  are you saying that the gov knew it's intell was faulty?
4) Once Iraq had WMD capability it would've been too late. A country in possession of WMD creates a deterrent making future intervention virtually impossible (see N. Korea).
Just to note the claim wasn't that Iraq had WMD. If you recall the arguments in Congress at the time and the statements at the time the argument revolved around stopping Iraq from obtaining WMD. Thus the argument that it was a preventative war rather than a pre-emptive war.
Too late for what?  You think Iraq was going to threaten the US?  Not a chance. BTW preventive war, as the 2003 Iraq Invasion, is generally considered illegal because no one can see the future that far ahead. 
Quote
Over 100,000 innocent women and children killed by coalition forces, thousands of US soldiers dead, a continuing growing number of insurgents that now outnumber US forces, a still deteriorating US image around the world, Bin Laden still roaming free, Iran and North Korea more dangerous than Iraq ever was, and a country still out of control with no real end in sight.
Contrast that with
A) If we believe various reports about the sanctions over the period sanctions were in place (specifically the 1991-1998 period) there were 100,000-227,000 deaths for children under 5. I assume some level of mortality assigned to sanctions for those above age 5 though probable concentrated on the opposite end of the age spectrum.
B) I think the Iraqi election was a good thing don't you? Especially since off-hand I can't recall a remotely moderate election in Iraq for at least a hundreds of years.
C) We did get rid of a dictator who's brutality was remarkable even compared to the various horrors that have been inflicted on populations from Stalin to Pol Pot.
D) Bin Laden roaming free is an issue? Will terrorism go away if we get rid of Bin Laden? It'd be nice to get him but remember that it would be more of a PR victory than a substantive victory.
E) The further impact it has had on the Middle East generally (i.e. progress in Lebanon, allowing us to remove troops from Saudi Arabia, etc.).

Alright I really need to work on school.

People that compare WWII with this war are off their rockers

nekko

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2005, 02:14:15 PM »
Quote
That means that war is ALWAYS the last resort.  That seems plain enough.  Iraq was not presenting a threat becasue it wanted to build a set of weapons.  ALL countries want weapons and Iraq needed weapons to deter Iran from aggression.  Iraw had not bombed us and presented no capability nor intent to do so.
It isn't plain enough because "last resort" is a relative term. "Last" relative to what? "Last" meaning go to war or be annihilated? "Last resort" relative to suffering what harm?

Quote
i think that the OP was refering to the corruptness of the Bush regime in preplanning a war wiht Iraq before a reason existed.  He trumped up the dangers of WMD to the US and people bought it.
Yes but whether true or not is irrelevant to whether or not it was objectively justified.

Quote
If Iraq was not a threat to us then how can we invade and risk US lives?  HAve you ever fired a shot or been shot at?  Ever put on a uniform?  The fact that Iraq was a threat to our interests is a moot and almost irrelevant point since nearly EVERY country is a threat to our interests in some way.  How was Iraq actively threatening us?
A) Was Iraq a threat worthy of risking lives or not? If you say no are you saying that we shouldn't have had troops in Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc. who were all risking their lives to keep Iraq in check, maintain the sanctions and maintain the no-fly zone, etc.? If you say no but aren't saying that then what are you saying?
B)In answer to your specific questions No (at least in how you mean), No, Yes. But is this relevant? I.e. can only those who serve in the military make decisions about conflict? Can I not make decisions or have opinions of decisions about how law enforcement should be conducted without ever having worn a police uniform? Have a say in what fires should be put out without having donned a fireman's uniform? If everyone in uniform decided hey let's invade China does that make it okay? Wasn't this all decided during the Clinton era (i.e. Clinton never having served not being a barrier to decision making over the military; though really FDR hadn't ever served either and things worked out okay).

Quote
Like i said, everyone wants WMD for protection and regional parity so this only shows that Saddam was rational
Being rationale doesn't make it either non-threatening or justifiable. Rationale simply means that they are behaving in a manner in which a certain action can logically lead to a certain result. Stalin taking over Eastern Europe was rationale but that doesn't mean we just say, "Well as long as it was rationale it was okay." Being rationale does not mean being either reasonable or free from miscalculation.

Quote
Why?  There were no weapons to be found so i guess it can be frustrating looking for something that isnt there
I say it was unreasonable to think that inspections could be conducted over a long period time by the fact that inspectors had been kicked prior to 2002 and that the only reason they were allowed in is the extreme threat represented by US forces, a threat which could not be maintained indefinitely. Were there no threat there would be no continued inspections. I haven't yet seen an indication that either the massive threat of force or that the continuation of such a threat would have been unnecessary to maintain the inspections regime.

Quote
3) Historically based on our experience after the First Gulf War, Iraqi WMD capability had far exceeded our previous estimates based on international inspections from the past.
and...?  are you saying that the gov knew it's intell was faulty?
What I'm saying is that totalitarian regimes are very difficult to have intelligence on. We can't just look up a Department of Defense annual and find out how much is being spent on nuclear weapons.  That being the case we only have so much ability to know what's going on.  Prior to the first Gulf War we thought Iraq was several years away from a nuclear capability. After the first Gulf War we discovered a much more advanced capability than we thought. So what this means is we have to temper our intelligence with the knowledge that the likelihood of error is considerably higher than in more open societies and have to match that with the potential threat presented. Once again prior to the first Gulf War we thought Iraq would not invade Kuwait. The CIA actively supported the view that Iraq was merely posturing. It wasn't that the CIA wasn't doing it's job or were disingenuous, it's that it's simply difficult to have good intelligence in a closed society. Also the information we have that indicates that there was no WMD also indicate that those working for Saddam actively worked to make him believe there was WMD. Thus one explanation of why things panned out as they did rather than Saddam rationally opening up Iraq to inspections without condition it's that he wanted to limit inspections because he in fact believed he had an on-going program.  Otherwise, rationally why take the risk he did?

Quote
Too late for what?  You think Iraq was going to threaten the US?  Not a chance. BTW preventive war, as the 2003 Iraq Invasion, is generally considered illegal because no one can see the future that far ahead. 
Too late for intervention. Let's say Iraq gets WMD but has zero intent on initially launching a nuclear strike on the US. Can we continue a no fly-zone against Iraq? Seems unlikely given the threat posed by nuclear weapons. Can we effectively protect SA/Kuwait/etc.? Let's say he invades Kuwait, U.S. forces are there but do we fight it out with Iraq knowing that they have nukes? Let's say Iraq launches a nuke strike against Iran, can we evenly remotely intervene?

Yes preventative war illegal. When did the world population vote on that measure or who was the elected world body that made that legislative decision? People complain about voter turnout in the US, I'm guessing the voter turnout for UN members was substantially lower. Well at least we can complain to the cops which would be?? Or the courts which would be??

Quote
People that compare WWII with this war are off their rockers
Such a logically sound argument. Here I was trying to have a nice discussion. 

3Peat

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2005, 09:48:46 PM »
ok nekko, im just saying that WWII and the Iraq war are not comparable. sorry for the insult, but im sure you can see how much they differ.

ill respond to the rest in a bit, im just working on someting now

nekko

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2005, 12:15:09 PM »
Quote
im just saying that WWII and the Iraq war are not comparable
I'm not saying that the Iraq war and WWII are comparable. What I'm doing (or trying to do anyway) is to take your analysis and apply it to a different situation. WWII is just a good one to use because generally speaking people identify less moral ambiguity with WWII. So it's not Iraq and WWII are the same; it's (for example) if war is last resort how would such a philosophy work when applied to other situations (such as WWII). If we get a result we don't like then either (A) the analysis is wrong or (B) the analysis is right but the facts are different such that the analysis doesn't apply. Too often though people just spout out general philosophies of X is the proper moral course of action but only apply it to a specific situation that works in their favor and then discount it when it does not.

Angie4Prez

  • Guest
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2005, 06:28:17 PM »
But what does that mean? What constitutes no other options? Is war only justified when you've been invaded (thus the U.S. would not have been justified entering WWII prior to the Pearl Harbor attack)? Just glibly saying other options to war are always preferable is meaningless.

Yes, war should always be a last resort when other viable means are available.  In regards to Pearl Harbor, the US finally entered the war because there was no other recourse after having been attacked.  Our current administration used the same tactic with 9/11.  Yet, instead of waging war on the Taliban, we decided to attach a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.  And yes, the US would not have been justified to enter into WWII unless an act was performed against them or their allies which forced their hand into waging war.  Hence, the exact reason why it took so long for the US to enter into the war, and why we waited to be attacked before declaring war on Japan.

Your argument really doesn't say anything. You say the evidence presented is irrelevant because the decision to go to war had already been made. That's like saying Pearl Harbor as a reason for entering WWII was irrelevant because it is clear from history that FDR had always intended to enter the war on the side of the allies. Even if the war was preordained that doesn't change the factual basis for or against war.

The issues surrounding Pearl Harbor are irrelevant because, unlike Iraq, Pearl harbor was attacked by the Japanese.  And according to the US war doctrine and rules of engagement at the time, we were left with no recourse but to declare war on Japan.  Iraq never attacked us, yet the decision was predetermined that war with Iraq would be  waged and all possible evidence supporting it, whether slightly valid or invalid, would be spun to support such action.

Not a threat to us in what sense? In the sense that Iraq couldn't conquer the United States? Sure. In the sense that it was not a threat to our interests? False. We knew Iraq was not a threat to its neighboring countries contingent upon our continued presence both in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait to maintain regional security. That is quite different than saying we knew Iraq was not a threat to its neighboring countries.

Being a threat to our ability to gain some sort of personal interest foothold in the Middle East is no validation to wage war on a country.   

And we also know
1) That the various reports indicating there is no WMD also indicate that Saddam intended to develop a WMD capability once oversight was removed.
2) That on-going inspections had proven to be almost impossible to maintain over any significant period of time.
3) Historically based on our experience after the First Gulf War, Iraqi WMD capability had far exceeded our previous estimates based on international inspections from the past.
4) Once Iraq had WMD capability it would've been too late. A country in possession of WMD creates a deterrent making future intervention virtually impossible (see N. Korea).
Just to note the claim wasn't that Iraq had WMD. If you recall the arguments in Congress at the time and the statements at the time the argument revolved around stopping Iraq from obtaining WMD. Thus the argument that it was a preventative war rather than a pre-emptive war.


1) Are we to wage war on all countries that "intend" to do something that we see as being a danger to our national security?  If so, then I guess we would have to assume that such countries will, in no doubt, be successful in obtaining such means with the strong intent of using them against us.  Hmmm.

2)  The inability to sustain any long term inspections is pure speculation.  What is fact is that the inspections, despite what our current administration proclaimed, were not only in Iraq, but were effective in disarming weapons that were in violation to UN resolutions.

3)  Iraq has no WMD.

4) Once again, the pertaining fact is, contrary to what was being preached by the Bush Administration, Iraq contained to WMD, and was not a threat to the US and/or Iraq's neighboring countires.

Contrast that with
A) If we believe various reports about the sanctions over the period sanctions were in place (specifically the 1991-1998 period) there were 100,000-227,000 deaths for children under 5. I assume some level of mortality assigned to sanctions for those above age 5 though probable concentrated on the opposite end of the age spectrum.
B) I think the Iraqi election was a good thing don't you? Especially since off-hand I can't recall a remotely moderate election in Iraq for at least a hundreds of years.
C) We did get rid of a dictator who's brutality was remarkable even compared to the various horrors that have been inflicted on populations from Stalin to Pol Pot.
D) Bin Laden roaming free is an issue? Will terrorism go away if we get rid of Bin Laden? It'd be nice to get him but remember that it would be more of a PR victory than a substantive victory.
E) The further impact it has had on the Middle East generally (i.e. progress in Lebanon, allowing us to remove troops from Saudi Arabia, e tc.).


A)  So, in just over two years of war, in which the US is suppose to be freeing and liberating the people of Iraq, we have killed over half of the innocent women and children that were killed during an 8 year period of sanctions placed on the government of Iraq.

B)  To date, the elections in Iraq have been a failure.  And with only a small percentage of the population actually voting for unknown candidates, I'm not sure I would even call it a remotely a good thing.

C)  The cry of "The world is a safer place with Saddam not in power" is a complete 180 from the reasons that were sold to the US and the rest of the world for waging war on Iraq.    There are many dictators in the world, whom are allies  of our present administration, that have performed much more horrific acts towards it's people than Saddam.  (China, Uzbekistan, Chile to name a few)

D)  Considering it was Bin Laden who was responsible for 9/11, and the mastermind behind terrorism against the US, then I would say yes, capturing Osama would be significant...more significant than holding Saddam in a prison cell while the insurgency in Iraq grows larger by the minute, and the target on the back of the United States grows larger and larger.

E) The effect of our presence in Iraq is yet to be determined.   

thomaslabrams

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2005, 06:10:06 AM »
I too should go to bed... but am in a posting frenzy - so here goes. 

Simply said: Killing people is wrong and should be avoided at all costs.  And I believe our killing tens of thousands of Iraqi's was avoidable.  We are headed down a track, for better or worse, of forced global homogenization.  We believe in democracy, freedom, and human rights and are forcing other nations to assimilate.  Could we have done it any other way.  I'm not sure.  Should we do it at all??????????  maybe..??  I mean, are countries that don't share these values a threat to us?  To be honest.  I kindof think so.  But it's kindof crazy to say we are declaring war (i.e. killing people) to ensure human rights.  Go back to top.  Hrmmmmmmm

Wild Jack Maverick

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 153
  • "I think I know the formula..."
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2005, 09:38:24 AM »
We are headed down a track, for better or worse, of forced global homogenization. We believe in democracy, freedom, and human rights and are forcing other nations to assimilate. Could we have done it any other way. I'm not sure. Should we do it at all?????????? maybe..?? I mean, are countries that don't share these values a threat to us? To be honest. I kindof think so. But it's kindof crazy to say we are declaring war (i.e. killing people) to ensure human rights.

You would really have to understand the entire situation. Osama bin Laden aside, Iraq is a country which would benefit from some sort of democracy. Iraq is predominantly Shiite, however, Saddam Hussein and his government are Sunni (as is Osama bin Laden and the majority of Muslim terrorists). Without democracy, Iraq would have continued as a non-represented population--much the same as if one US political party was heading a nation populated by the other.

The US invasion of Iraq was not impulsive, since there have been Iraqi refugees in the US during the past many years, whose main message was the hope that Saddam Hussein and his regime would end, and they could return home to their families. And although many Iraqi citizens rejoice at the capture of Hussein, and the rebuilding of the Iraqi government, the insurgency has many causes. One is that Iraq (predominantly Shiite) wants to gain control of its country, while the Sunnis want to regain control--neither of which the Iraqis think could happen while the US remains at Iraq.

Another problem is that the Iraqi society has not progressed at the rate as many other nations. The presence of the US at Iraq is beneficial, as it is at Afghanistan, in that the citizenry now has better access to better education, which is the one thing which will have the most impact at changing the attitudes of the people.

Hopefully, the war at the Middle East will eventually lead to a more civilized society, where wars aren't necessary.
"I enjoy being in school. I've learned so much already, with taking economics and law, and I have marketing and statistics coming up next."

Wild Jack Maverick

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 153
  • "I think I know the formula..."
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2005, 09:08:16 AM »
The correct answer: ;)

According to the Westphalian System, the war at Iraq is not 'necessary.'
"I enjoy being in school. I've learned so much already, with taking economics and law, and I have marketing and statistics coming up next."

nekko

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Was the war in Iraq a war of choice?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2005, 01:17:42 PM »
Quote
And yes, the US would not have been justified to enter into WWII unless an act was performed against them or their allies which forced their hand into waging war.  Hence, the exact reason why it took so long for the US to enter into the war, and why we waited to be attacked before declaring war on Japan.
This is certainly a defensible position but the result you get then is France conquered by Nazi Germany, China crushed with millionis of Chinese slaughtered, Jews rounded up and systematically exterminated and the millions killed in Eastern Europe.  Personally I find this to be a sub-optimal result. Now you certainly don't have to argue that Iraq would fall into the same category but if you did view the above consequences as less desirable than the alternative of war then I think the philosophy of never do anything until attacked fails. Personally I wish we had gotten involved in WWII earlier since I think saving the lives of several million would have been worth it.

Quote
A)  So, in just over two years of war, in which the US is suppose to be freeing and liberating the people of Iraq, we have killed over half of the innocent women and children that were killed during an 8 year period of sanctions placed on the government of Iraq.

B)  To date, the elections in Iraq have been a failure.  And with only a small percentage of the population actually voting for unknown candidates, I'm not sure I would even call it a remotely a good thing.

C)  The cry of "The world is a safer place with Saddam not in power" is a complete 180 from the reasons that were sold to the US and the rest of the world for waging war on Iraq.    There are many dictators in the world, whom are allies  of our present administration, that have performed much more horrific acts towards it's people than Saddam.  (China, Uzbekistan, Chile to name a few)

D)  Considering it was Bin Laden who was responsible for 9/11, and the mastermind behind terrorism against the US, then I would say yes, capturing Osama would be significant...more significant than holding Saddam in a prison cell while the insurgency in Iraq grows larger by the minute, and the target on the back of the United States grows larger and larger.

E) The effect of our presence in Iraq is yet to be determined.   
A)Ah so the superior choice would then to just indefinitely starve people for say another decade or two. With not only no solution in sight but the prospect of an even worse leadership coming into power. The better choice is not always a good choice, simply better than the alternatives.
B)The Iraqi people seemed to have been pretty happy with the elections and if you have some examples of democracy being developed post-dictatorship faster than the current situation I'd love to hear about it.
C) A complete 180? Haven't we been talking about removing Saddam from power from the first Bush administration, through the Clinton administration and into the second Bush administration? Also the excuse that there are worse dictators out there is a recipe for not trying to stop any problem. Am I wrong to give homeless person money if I don't give every homeless person I meet money? Must every dictatorship in the world be destroyed before destroying one?
D) Capturing Osama would be great no doubt, but the issue isn't Osama. There was terrorism pre-Osama, there will be terrorism post-Osama. It's not like in the movies where once you remove the one bad guy everyone thing is okay. The larger problem is authoratarian regimes in the Middle East and how that not only stunts their development but encourages radicalized Islamic beliefs.
E) Ah yet you still choose to judge it now?

Quote
Simply said: Killing people is wrong and should be avoided at all costs.  And I believe our killing tens of thousands of Iraqi's was avoidable. 
Part of the problem is the belief that we weren't killing anyone with the status quo. We were killing Iraqis pre-war, in fact we were killing thousands.

Quote
According to the Westphalian System, the war at Iraq is not 'necessary.'
Well sort of. But in terms of what's probably the larger point I concur but once we go off the reservation and decide that we care about human rights, freedom, etc. the Westphalian system leaves us a lot of problems. Perhaps my main issue are the folks who are big believers in human rights who essentailly were content with letting Saddam stay in power.  Folks who believe in a realist theory of IR where you don't concern yourself with the domestic issues of other countries, I think is a bit heartless but I find logically sound.