So war it is. Despite all the protests, Security Council machinations, negotiations and pundit clucking, predictions from six months ago that the US and Britain would invade Iraq in March will have been borne out within about 48 hours. Given the intractable arrogance of Saddam, and the mission George W. Bush has seen himself on since 9/11, what other end could there have been?
I was not a Bush fan before 9/11, didn't vote for him or any other Republican EVER for president, but I believe his perception that the War on Terror is his "calling" is correct and of vast importance. Diplomatic, inertia-based business as usual is no longer acceptable. Bush sounded tired and drained in his speech last night, but he calmly hit upon all the key elements of why war is necessary, why it is our duty to ourselves and the world (whether the world wants it or not) to take forceful action now.
He explicitly mentioned the appeasement of murderous tyrants in the buildup to WWll, and I believe the lesson he has taken from history is correct: those who hate us and seek our destruction cannot be ignored or contained - they must be destroyed.
Much has been made of the fact that this will be America's first "preemptive" military action; again, Bush provided the appropriate framework for this action. Saddam has not lived up to the terms of the cease-fire of the first Gulf War, 9/11 brutally demonstrated that such loops cannot be left open. This action is closure rather than preemption.
The "no war for any reason" throngs voicing their impotent discontent around the globe will note it not, but Bush also emphasized the fact that we will not be at war against the Iraqi people, or even the Iraqi military - whom he encouraged to get the hell out of the way - but against the regime. This is not some bloodthirsty warmonger, and those who label him so lack the will or the ability to distinguish any nuance between "war" and "no war."