The article above has an evenhanded tone, but comes unhinged on the UN topic.
Yes, the Bush Administration and their vocal war supporters claim that they were enforcing the UN sanctions, but they use this argument only as a pitiful attempt at justification. It's the equivalent of a mob saying that thier hangings represent the will of the justice system. Simply put, the UN never called for this war.
The reason that most Americans support the war has nothing to do with the UN. They support the war because they trust the current administration, believe them and do not trust the administration's opponents. This administration has fearmongered and manipulated its way to war, and the loyal follow them. This is not unique. Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot were also able to develop a loyal following who supported and carried out their policies, even when these policies result in tens of thousands of deaths. (What? Are Bush-caused deaths good? Of course! Our fear and anger justify them!)
That explains the followers' motivations, but what of the leaders'? If you ask me, the goal is to have Iraq available as a long-term strategic base. You don't pump the oil out of the region the Tuesday after next - you pump it every day for a lifetime. And it's not only the oil in Iraq. It's the region. Dominate it with military bases and Shah-like dictatorships, and you have security for the long-term flow of oil. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the real motivation for the war.
So, why hasn't Bush EVER brought this up in any of his speeches? Why haven't we had the debate over strategic oil security in the region? One can easily make the argument that this is critical for the economic viability of the developed countries of the world. But instead we got yellowcake stories, WMD lies, terrorism ties and Saddam-the-boogeyman stories. As if America was under dire threat, or that we give a sheet about democracy in Iraq.
Security for the long term aquisition of oil in the Middle East. That's what this has all been about. And you and I and all of the oil providers & consumers of the west will benefit - if it all works to plan.
That's the debate that the country and the world never had. Somehow, global oil security has never popped up as a daily talking point.
Sure, GW's cowboy foreign policy may pizz off enough people to shift power to the UN. It may also pizz off enough Arabs to cause more acts of terrorism. Those are secondary. The unintended consequences. The blowback. The prime objective is, has been and will be strategic oil security in the region and throughout the world. All else, including our lives and liberties, fails to be the prime objective of this administration.