Saddam, a long-term enemy of Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists who incidentally threatened his own rule, paid token gestures to the Palestinian cause, $25,000 per suicide bomber’s family. More or less every Arab country encouraged Palestinian suicide bombers (heroic folks, actually). Pensions to the bombers’ families are not really an involvement in terrorism in the sense that Iran is involved.

Regarding the Scud attacks on Israel during the Gulf War, Saddam could intentionally miss (impossible to accidentally miss a city) so that he posed as anti-Israeli force but did not provoke Israeli retaliation.

Reforming the world of Islam by force is impossible. Containment and punishment are the only options. Ousting Saddam was more than sufficient punishment for his non-cooperation with the UN nuclear inspections.

Iraq was a bad place to teach a lesson to the world of Islam. Saudi military build-up poses a threat. More than likely, A.Q.Khan holds some of the missing Pakistani nuclear bombs in Saudi Arabia. Iranian military nuclear program was known well before the invasion of Iraq. In Muslim world, Saddam was a traitor, not an icon of anti-American resistance. US invasion made him into an icon.

Does it make sense to install democratic government in Iraq? Iraqi elections got us the Shiite alignment with Iran. Not really a neat arrangement. It would be great to create a decent liberal state in Iraq, but that might not be realistic.

After America abandoned its Asian allies, large-scale murder ensued. But then, America sided with Khmer Rouge against the Vietnamese invasion. The communists are murderous, but could an alternative regime be established? Saigon offers negative proof. Occupation could delay the ascent of murderous regimes, such as Vietnam communists or Iraqi Shiite fundamentalists, but eventually they would take the power because enough locals find their ideology attractive.

Now that America opened Pandora box in Iraq (as in Vietnam), civil war will continue, with or without the US troops. Without the occupation, civil war would peak up and end with some strongman taking the power. With American troops in place, annual losses could be less than in the free Iraq but the years will be more. Also, it isn’t easy to see why America should pay in lives and money to stop the brotherly war of Iraqis.