The fighting was continued because there are other would-be dictators,
most likely some as savage and capable as Saddam Hussein,
who would have been more than happy to take his place and
intended to do so. It was not Saddam the man we wished to eradicate,
but the threat of instability, the export of terrorism, and the danger posed
to surrounding neighbors. The way to do that is to leave a nation imbedded with
and empowered to achieve a better ideal. And that's why we went on fighting.
It remains to be seen whether it will have been worth it,
but the prospects seem brighter all the time.
I must respectfully dissent
from your assertion that:
" It was not Saddam the man we wished to eradicate,
but the threat of instability. . . "; that 's not what we signed on for.
That 's not what W
told us before he invaded.
As a citizen of a port city, I was quite relieved to have Saddam
overthrown, in that I had felt exposed to Saddam 's whims as to
his sneaking in a nuclear attack, on a boat approaching the city.
The war was against a homicidal maniac with a grudge against us
(for humiliating him in Kuwait) and access to nukes. The war was not
sold to us as a foreign aid project to export democracy to Iraq.