The Bush administratin wanted to remove Saddam but I think could care less about the liberation of the Iraqi people. Invasion objectives had nothing to do with the possibly noble spread of democracy but had everything to do with geopolitics.
Only when they realised they had lost the war about a year later did the Bushites start emphasising items other than Saddam’s threat to national security, his violations of UN resolutions, how bad must that have been since he had no WMD? They wanted to put a Wilsonian spin on a neoconservative war to try to elevate a crime into a crusade of alleged American virtue.
Also, terrorism, which is really an intellectually sloppy term for Islamists who oppose American interests in the region, had virtually no home in secular Baathist Iraq. While I doubt the resistance is significantly assisted by external allies crossing the Syrian or Jordanian border, there is probably some third-country guerrillas in country. Well we put them there. By overthrowing Saddam and creating chaos where there had been order, the stability of Iraq has been affected, the lives of Iraqi citizens are worse, the centripetal forces of ethnic and religious have been accentuated.
This war as Mr Bush said on PBS, has a geopolitical angle. To contain Iran. I said this before the war, that this was all about oil in the Gulf and American hegemony with Israel throughout the area. What shocks me frankly is that no serious commentator has attempted to explain Iran’s apparent pursuit of a nuclear option as motivated to protect itself from American encirclement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes Iran’s interest in nuclear forces preceded Mr Bush’s invasion of Iraq but if I were a Iranian national-security manager, would I want to renounce all possibilities of developing a deterrent with a superpower in two bordering nations?
Perhaps America, if really interested in eliminating Iran’s nuclear ambitions should consider joining directly the European talks with Iran, stop threatening sanctions before the UN Security Council and put US withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan on the table. Geopolitics is not merely an American right or toy. Others, perhaps weaker states, have even a greater stake in planning military modernisation in the world of “Axis of Evil” declarations from a war-criminal president who spies on his own people in the name of “freedom” and “democracy.” Please!!