dwight meredith explains it all for you
Dwight Meredith at the P.L.A. Weblog has one of the best examinations I've seen yet of the Administration's shifting
pretexts rationales for the invasion of Iraq. He examines a set of foreign policy goals and notes that two of the principal rationales--cited at various times by members of the Administration--are "regime change" and "disarmament." Meredith reaches this initial conclusion:
The upside of a policy of invasion is, therefore, that it addresses each of the foreign policy goals and provides the surest method of achieving each one.
But wait--he isn't done. He goes further, actually examining some of the potential downsides of an invasion, including the should-be-obvious point that a heretofore deterred Saddam might well unleash what WMD capability he has if he perceives he has nothing to lose. His conclusion:
We favor a policy of disarmament with the enforcement mechanism described above for four reasons:
1) We consider the goals of the destruction of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and the removal of the capability to acquire WMD to be essential and the other goals to be of secondary importance;
2) We consider the risks of a unilateral invasion (including the cost in lives, the possibility of harming the campaign against terrorism, the possibility of creating a new wave of terrorist attacks and the chance of a widening conflagration) to be substantial;
3) We believe that a disarmament policy with an enforcement mechanism will work at least with regard to nuclear technology, and that the inspection regimen will halt any progress towards the development of nuclear weapons technology; and
4) A disarmament policy does not foreclose the option to invade if we are wrong.
This last point is why I favor a more limited Congressional resolution on Iraq. (I haven't looked at the current proposal too closely yet.) Linking military action ot UN approval, for example, would motivate the Bush administration to seek allies; should the French or Russians prove truly recalcitrant, another resolution could always take its place. But carte blance, once issued, is awfully hard to revoke.