At first, it was to make the world safe from terrorism. We started this project by overthrowing the government of Afghanistan. Because killing people and instituting regime change stops terrorism. Never mind that most of the terrorists that the US has to deal with hate us for backing violent regimes that kill and oppress the people (like Israel). And so after that project was half finished or so, we ran off to do the same in Iraq.
Even though Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11, or with the Al-Qaeda, except to be mortal enemies with them. In fact, Hussein does very little to support terrorism, he doesn't have the weapons or money to spare on such things, in part due to sanctions.
Okay, even so, he has weapons that are prohibited by the UN security council. Except that, for the most part, that is untrue. And the entire purpose of the inspections wasn't a trial, to see if he had these weapons, then punish him, it was to uncover these weapons and force them to be destroyed.
But you can't deny that he is a bad man. He oppresses and kills his people. And this makes him different from every other two bit dictator in the world how? Why Iraq? But if we go in, and institute a democratic government (that the people of Iraq don't want, and wouldn't know what to do with) then the other nations in that region will see the benefits of democracy (or rule-by-the-majority (even if the majority is wrong)), and overthrow their dictators.
Just like if one nation falls to Communism it will cause a Domino Effect, and other nations will fall.
The biggest problem here is inconsistency (the inability to come up with a solid reason and make it stick), and unreasonable goals. This in turn feeds the biggest visible problem- the lack of international support.
What happens when this government that gets imposed does not recieve international support? Without recognition from the rest of the world, a government cannot exist. How does it engage in trade and diplomacy if the rest of the world refuses to acknowledge it?
But the biggest reason against this conflict (it is not yet a war- Simon (Congress) didn't say) is the effect on international relationships. One nation has decided it does not like the government of another. So this nation is going in, and enforcing its will upon this other nation. No matter that this is right or wrong. We have one nation deciding that it knows how another should act, and is using military force to impose this. This is vigilante action. Vigilantes are nice, they make us feel all squishy, knowing that a regular guy can go and make a difference. Ask the cops about vigilantes though. There's a reason that vigilante police are illegal.
There is a system in place. The purpose of this system is to create a set of rules that the citizens can live by. When someone fails to adhere to this system, the system itself has methods for correcting that action. If someone works outside of this system, it weakens the system itself. Imagine for a moment, if everyone decided that they had the right to overthrow governments that they didn't like. China decides that Cambodia is mismanaged, and decides to instate a new government. Saudia Arabia decides it doesn't like the government of Israel (oh wait, they don't), and overthrow it.
One nation has no right to dictate the behavior of another nation. We started the first Gulf War ostensibly because that is what Iraq was doing. It was imposing its own will upon Kuwait. The international community decided this wasn't appropriate, and acted to stop it.
I am against the war because we are going outside of the system. We are breaking the rules of common courtesy wtih unclear and unreasonable motivations. One nation cannot be allowed to put its rule over another. If a regime change from without is to be instituted in Iraq, it must be done with support of the community. There has to be an agreement, and the tools of the system have to be used in this arrangement. The UN has a system in place to deal with dangerous rulers. The reason this system has not worked is because of the lack of support from the US. People claim the system has failed, but the US has shown only a token interest in using the system.
We must obey the rules set out by the system, or we must work with the community to change the system.
Iraq has been oppressing its people for decades, and most of that time it had our support. People keep saying that we must act now, but at this point, we've been postponing so long that our haste is unwarantted. Why is it suddenly so important? Why can't the international community deliberate a bit longer, until an agreement can be reached that is amiacble to all parties?
The reason this entire action is so unclear is the amount of haste involved. The US is acting like a magician or a hustler, talking so fast that you don't have time to critically analyze its arguments, throwing down insults and maginalizing the people that don't buy those arguments.
History will bear me out, and show that the future consequences of this action are dire. The precedent that is being set is dangerous.
I've got more to say, but it's on a different topic, so I'll bear it out in another post.