I totally disagree with the notion that we had to "invade" Iraq in order to ascertain whether or not they had weapons of mass destruction, that posed an "immenent and direct threat" to the world's peace, and to the safety of the United States. With patience, perseverance, and working with the world community, on an issue that is a "world issue", we could have come to the same incontrovertible conslusion that we now have: Iraq did not pose the threat it was trumpted to pose! It's a great fallacy to talk as if we can only say this by historical hindsight! Real leadership and concern for "needless shedding of blood", would have given us the same conclusion we now have, at a greatly reduced cost to the American tax payer, in blood and money! Your intelligent phrasing of words is much negated by your immature "blood-for-oil" Bush-dubbery of "we had to go in"! For Americas safety! Yeah right! This war was planned long before it was carried out! "We will go to war because we have to, not because we want to!" Amen to that Brother!
Please go to the archives and read the editorials of the day from 1938 through 1940. You will find many of the same arguments you have just layed out. Then go read statements by Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton alaying the fact that Iraq was hiding and had in its posession WMD's.
As far as emminent threat without Sadamms willingness to cooperate with inspectors the only way we could of found out was either through going there and looking for ourselves or waiting for empircal evindence to be posited on our doorstep.
Additionally, if you believe letting despots ethnically cleanse and kill their own people does not have long reaching reprucussions I would disagree. People of that ilk push until they are stopped and give courage to junior despots to try the same.The world is truly about broken windows theory, if no windows are broken in an abandoned building the liklihood of someone breaking one goes down signifigantly, but as soon as the first in broken it cascades.