Look, terrible things happen in war. It is beyond any of our ability to even understand how terrible it is unless we have been there. This is why you don’t go to war unless your national security is at risk by not going. Once that decision is made, then you do not have mercy on your enemy until they have met all your demands and you should make those demands very clear from the outset. There should be no confusion about what it is they are to do.
In the case of Iraq, we should have laid out what it is we expected of their leadership.
1) comply with UN resolutions and cease firing at our patrols.
2) allow unconditional and unlimited searches for WMD.
3) Do not threaten its neighbors.
4) Do not support or fund terrorism.
Obviously, there are people out there who can make those points using much better language and speaking skills. Heck, if advisors to our politicians can take meaningless platitudes and turn them into good speeches for every election, then they can take the points I listed and turn them into good speeches. I could if I wanted to spend a few days preparing one but why would I? I’m not a speech writer for anybody.