The Crumbling of What?
I was very frustrated over the year-long run up to the Iraq invasion with all of GW's UN visits because I felt too much time was given the likely enemy to prepare. I am convinced that Saddam moved his WMD to Syria during that period. I understood Bush's political reasoning behind it and accepted there may be military benefits as well. Now, I see they were fruitless and harmful. I expected that the UN would never have the desire to actually act on one of their "resolutions". The was askked I feared the crumbling of stability in the region. I answered I cared more about the instability in the US as the 9-11 WTC buildings destruction remain a permanent wallpaper to my internal monitor.
Mark Steyn captures my thinking then and now in this comment:
So three years on, unlike Francis Fukuyama and the other moulting hawks, my only regret is that America didn't invade earlier. Yeah yeah, you sneer, what about the only WMD? Sorry. Don't care. Never did. My argument for whacking Saddam was always that the price of leaving him unwhacked was too high. He was the preeminent symbol of the September 10th world; his continuation in office testified to America's lack of will, and was seen as such by, among others, Osama bin Laden: In Donald Rumsfeld's words, weakness is a provocation. So the immediate objective was to show neighboring thugs that the price of catching America's eye was too high. The long term strategic goal was to begin the difficult but necessary transformation of the region that the British funked when they cobbled together the modern Middle East in 1922.
The region had proven it was dangerous and wanted our destruction. The biggest bully needed "correction". I still believe it was necessary though albeit tardy and arguably not fully planned out.