Nick Denton says these are the real reasons for war:
The real reasons occasionally seep out. The West needs Iraq, and its oil supplies, to put pressure on the real enemy, Saudi Arabia, and change the balance of power in the Middle East. Saddam’s aggression, though not a direct threat to the US, is a danger to Israel, a country dear to many Americans. And fundamentalist Muslims, who hate the West whatever we do, might as well learn to fear it: the war in Iraq will demonstrate the price of defiance.
You might be surprised to learn that he considers these to be good and valid reasons. Conquering a country to get at its resources for strategic reasons is nothing to be proud of, and making an example of a country just because we can is barbaric. The reasons we’ve been given are mostly hogwash, but these reasons are worse.
If you want to list good reasons for war with Iraq, they are that Iraq intends to eventually become a nuclear power, and would probably use that nuclear power as cover for invading and oppressing its neighbors. There’s also the fact that Saddam Hussein is brutal and vicious, and has subjected his people to decades of oppression and deprivation. I fear what Iraq might do if it gains nuclear capability — not that they’ll give the source of their power to some Islamist yahoos to destroy a city, but that they’ll leverage that power to do the sorts of things that they’ve done since Saddam Hussein took over. Iraq has threatened Syria, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and has actually invaded Kuwait and Iran.
All this garbage about using Iraq as the cornerstone for some sort of new world order makes me sick. It shocks me that anyone actually expects this inane domino theory to work. I don’t think it can even if we use our armored divisons to knock them over.