Sometimes arguments of fact become irrelevant, as pragmatics overtake truth.
The Middle East (a part
of the world where truth has always been pretty much 'pragmatic') is about to
experience more of the same. The year-long argument over 'does Saddam have
or not?' has just been overtaken by the pragmatics of Oriental politics -
the North Korean situation.
The US have said that they can fight a war on two fronts (Iraq and North Korea), but they
don't want to.
The US war machine is not a mindless mob
of Lord-of-the-Rings style zombies who dart into the fray and start hacking at
anything smelling of kimchi. They are expert and highly specialized, and being
able to choose the exact tool for the job will make a significant
difference. Spreading them across the world will cost lives - picking their
enemies off one by one means every tool is available when it's needed.
Significantly too, they can't take on North Korea, all the Middle East and
China at the same time. These countries have scores to settle - China has a score to settle with
Taiwan (because they have
been more successful than they are), North Korea has a score to settle with South Korea (because they
have been more successful than they are), and the Middle Eastern countries have
a score to settle with just about everyone (because they are more successful
than they are). The US can't take them all on at the same time.
If the the US just pulled out of the Middle East, Saddam would start harassing
his neighbors again, and that would threaten the oil supplies. The US war machine
will grind to a halt unless it's well oiled - so the US has to effect regime
change in Iraq to stabilize the Middle East (and hence stabilize the oil
North Korea has been emboldened by the US focus on Iraq and seems to think
this is a good time to put the squeeze on - but the most likely effect will be to
bring forward the coming Gulf War II (WW-III will have to wait).
There may be honor among thieves, but there's no love lost between dictators. Right now,
Saddam's worst enemy is North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.