I have grave concerns regarding the impending military invasion of Iraq to replace a repressive regime. I would love to be a fly on the wall when the White House briefs top political leaders regarding Iraq. (Some of these players also orchestrated the Vietnam fiasco, hence my consternation.) I would be more assured if some member of Congress would voice concerns of losing a child in the effort. Then again, many Americans, I included, are supportive of the actions we have taken to strike back against a recognizable enemy. If Afghanistan was undeveloped when we started bombing, believe me, it is now in the Stone Age. Little infrastructure, housing, medical and very few terrorists. On an international level we can walk with heads raised. No one messes with the U.S.A.
But it will take more than smart bombs and ground troops to win this war on terrorism and taking out Iraq will be a bit more complicated than Afghanistan. If Saddam Hussein's 1991 retreat from Kuwait is any indication, he will leave a few surprises behind. I suspect we could see the fires from space. If death is imminent he may try to take as many with him as he can. Neither worse case scenario fits neatly into the definition of a successful mission.
It is reported that Kurds in the northern region may be of assistance but first they need to fork over the terrorists reportedly taking refuge within their borders.
There is not a nation in the world unaware of our abilities to repave their country into a parking lot. We are the "man" on a planetary scale, this is why our enemies use the tactics they do to attack us. To militarily expand into a fortified country with advance knowledge of our coming may require a war effort and cost not seen since Vietnam. Iraq may not be militarily significant, but its leader is, with a proven disregard for human life and willingness to decimate the landscape.
Before taking out Saddam I would suggest we push on to the original objective of rooting out the terrorists. It may also be a good idea to formulate a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan, excluding entrenched warlords now fighting over the remains. When the dust settles we may not be very proud of what we left behind.
I do not care a wit if Saudi Arabia opposes our efforts. Their rogue citizens piloted the commercial airliners, after all. For the most part the entire Middle East has been, is, and will continue to be a global pain. Russia's interests are parochial at best, Egypt, Sudan, Iran and others have done little beyond giving lip service, and United Nations decrees do not supersede the U.S. Constitution for me.