Yes or no explain your reason for your belief
The war was fought as part of a broader strategy to contain Iran, influence Middle Eastern politics favorably for US and Israeli interests, and secure a friendly source of oil. On a lesser note, it was fought as a "contractor's war" for the benefit of certain US corporations
On these goals the war has had mixed success. The oil issue is a no-go: the US is pumping billions of dollars into the reconstruction of Iraq, but the Iraqis have an enormous budget surplus as a result of selling oil to us for the same price everyone else does. So we're losing money to them, and then we're losing more money to them.
Iran appears unwilling to negotiate with the current administration (and I don't blame them; Bush hasn't exactly offered an olive branch himself). In fact, Iran is equally involved in the goings-on of both Iraq and Afghanistan, and we've had a lot of trouble disrupting their covert operations. So it doesn't seem that Iran is contained.
jimahl and others are correct that terrorism was not a legitimate reason for attacking Iraq; if it was, we should currently be at war with Saudi Arabia who harbors more terrorist organizations and secretly funds others (some of which were fighting Hussein). As a result of the war in Iraq, al-Qaeda has had an opportunity to try new tactics on its American enemy, and also recruit new fighters. That being said, I don't see Iraq as a victory for al-Qaeda either, since Iraqi Shi'ites and Sunnis have become largely hostile to al-Qaeda in the last couple years. And, of course, no neighboring governments are as friendly to al-Qaeda as the Taliban.
Politically, the MIddle East is no better today than it was before. The stability of Iraq is a huge concern in the region. Turkey has taken military action on its own several times, and we are in danger of completely losing the Turks as an ally, which would be a disaster for our Middle East policy. The Iraq war has also caused the suspension of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, much to the chagrin of both Europeans and Arabs. And with Syria, the administration continues to shun rather than engage, despite the fact that Syrian cooperation is essential in stabilizing Iraq.
So the war has not met any of it's "macroscale" goals. On a microscale, there are several aspects of the reconstruction process that are meeting with enormous success, while others are lagging or not happening at all. The problem with reconstruction continues to be corruption in the Iraqi government.
"The problem with reconstruction continues to be corruption in the Iraqi government."
And corruption in our government also.
I agree with almost everthing you say mjax. While there were many broader reasons why Bush followed his Iraq policy, the most immediate one at the time was the risk of Iraqi oil being sold in euros. If Bush had waited even another month, the inspectors would have been done, and shown Iraq to be WMD free. There would have been very little we could have done to prevent the sanctions from being eased, and Saddam had already said once they could start selling oil again, it would be in euros. The little oil he was able to sell in the oil for food program was sold in euros.
Also, I do think that the Iraq war has helped al qaeda with the simple fact that we diverted attention and resources away from them. I agree that Iraqi's, shia and sunni, are rejecting them. Which is why the rightwings argument that a US withdrawal will lead to AQ taking over is so ludicrous.
I do think the goal was to take out hussein. Just not for the reasons they gave. Not because he was a brutal dictator, or because he posed any threat (since he posed absolutely none). The reason they wanted him out was that once the inspectors had finished (if they had been allowed to), and he was declared WMD free, and sanctions started to be eased, he said he would began selling oil in euro and not dollars. THAT is the main reason we invaded. There was no way the Bush and the saudis were going to let that happen.
Yeah I think different parts of the administration supported the war for different reasons. For Cheney and Rumsfeld, it was obviously about profiteering. But for some, I think it was about oil and strategic interests.
No doubt the war certainly hasn't hurt al-Qaeda, and like you say I think one of the best things to deal with them will be a phased withdrawl. They do not stand poised to take over the country after we leave.
Yes. This war is not about terrorism. Never was, never will be. That is a lie given to us by this Administration. If it were about terrorism and was in response to 9/11, we would have gone into Saudi. It is also not about WMDs. Or taking out Hussein, that was just a result of our invasion.
Yes, because people are being killed. There is absolutely nothing good coming out of it.
Definitely yes...Too many innocent lives have been taken
theres no reason to still be there