We no longer have to bear one major risk: a psychopathic despot overcoming a porous sanctions regime, and using oil sales to pay for resumed WMD production. The absence of WMD was a huge intelligence failure; so it is fortunate that we are no longer reliant on Saddam's word. As Professor Graham Pearson, of the Bradford University school of peace studies, has written, focusing on stockpiles is misconceived: "In an aggressor state, there is no requirement to have such stockpiles as the national strategy is not one of having an ability to retaliate in kind but rather ... to use chemical and biological weapons at a time of its choosing." Saddam did possess dual-use facilities that, according to Charles Duelfer of the Iraq Survey Group, could quickly have produced chemical and biological weapons.When you don't wait for a time of your own choosing, you're left with Kerry's War of Last Resort. That would have been a war of anniliation.
We have no assurance that the struggle to establish a constitutional society in Iraq will succeed. But we can be certain that the security of the region and of ourselves, as well as the welfare of those to whom we have obligations, will be damaged if we fail to support Iraqis against theocratic and Ba'athist totalitarianism. We at least have the advantage in that struggle of having confronted Saddam at a time of our choosing.
We've done that before after the pacifists and appeasers had us wait until the tyrants chose the time of war. It's devasting for our foes when the pacifists have the United States wait.