I realize that sarcasm is fun, but does this response actually clarify or illuminate anything? Do you believe that the USA should comply with international law at all times? If not, isn't it awfully self-serving of you to invoke it when it's convenient to you?
"But, while I'm no expert on international law, I've heard it mentioned several times that there are international legal obligations which, assuming the nasty rotten no-good US government follows them, obligate us to help put the country back on its feet. "
So, you've heard that mentioned. It's good to know that all aggressor nations are obliged to clean up after themselves, lest they suffer the world's disapproving glare.
"Instead, Saddam hindered the weapons inspectors and actively engaged in programs to deceive them. "
Yeah, I remember the games he played. I also remember it was absolutely clear there was nothing Saddam could have said or done to halt the invasion. He certainly couldn't have handed over the non-existent WMDs which were being demanded (unless he launched into a crash program to develop some, or fake some, so he could hand them over). Possibly if he had walked out of the desert to turn himself over to the US commander with a noose around his neck, that might have slowed things down a bit.
Good for us if we actually hampered al Qaeda as thoroughly as you say. As you also say, your mileage may vary on whether that result was worth the many thousands of lives it cost and the hundreds of billions of dollars we've borrowed from China to pay for it. As for me, I'd be happier if we hadn't incurred that debt of blood and money, if Saddam had been left to fester and fall in his own time, and if the USA were in a state of far less turmoil as a result of this wholly optional war.
By the way, I'll hold few Democrats up as standard-bearers of integrity. I was living in California during the lead up to the war (which I always opposed). When she voted to allow the use of force I wrote to Diane Feinstein requesting that she consider not running for re-election, so a real Democrat might have a chance. She responded by saying she had secret information which made it clear an invasion was necessary. Mmm hmm. Sure you did, Senator.
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