Okay, call me crazy but I happen to believe that our national defense should be for our national defense. That our military power should be used punitively, not for nation building.
That when you send your troops to go and die, that they should be doing some serious ass kicking, not dying from planted roadside bombs. Dying while in a defensive role all so we can make things better for the people of a country who are planting IEDs and launching grenades and mortars at our guys.
So what would you have done? Let Saddam get away with it all?
Why not? Did it not work in Japan? It is indeed in our national interest for these countries to be stable. Iraq is an excellent opportunity for us to be and stay a force of good to be reckoned with in the Middle East. Let's also not not forget (throwing off all the PC guises) that we have some solid military infrastructure of our own right smack dab in the heart of the Middle East. Don't fool yourself into thinking that the war against Islam is anywhere near over. It is just getting started.
Let's also not forget that freedom is contagious. A free Iraq will be a shining example to the rest of the 7th century minded region. Heck, even parts of Africa may come into the light. It is in our national interest (and some might say obligation) to spread freedom throughout a world full of tyranny and oppression. And least ye not forget: freedom ain't free; it's a hefty f***in' fee.
I might also add that the oh so politically incorrect Fly Paper Method (thank goodness for Rummy) is working like a charm.