it’s a checklist, not an on/off switch. And in the end that’s the response to all of these alleged silver-bullet antiwar arguments. No one argument is sufficient, pro or con. You need to look at a long list of criteria and make a decision. Some pro-war arguments are very strong, some less so. But you have to add them all up together and look at the final tally.
So: Is Iraq a brutal totalitarian regime? Check! Is it a proven threat to its neighbors? Check! Is it a proven threat to its own people? Check! Is it a proven threat to our allies? Check! Is it willing to export terrorism abroad? Check! Is it likely that if it got weapons of mass destruction, it would use them recklessly? Check! Is it working very hard to get weapons of mass destruction? Check! Would Saddam’s people be better off without him? Check! Would we and our allies be better off without him? Check! Do we have the power and capabilities to get rid of him without paying too high a cost? Check! And, would getting rid of him make it less likely that another September 11 would “happen again”? Check.