I’m not interested in litigating this at length, since the disaster of the Iraq war is so painfully evident that even the Republicans agree. A quick Google search brings up an article that Hitches wrote for the Weekly Standard. To me this qualifies as a weak argument:
For anyone with eyes to see, there was only one other state that combined the latent and the blatant definitions of both “rogue” and “failed.” This state — Saddam’s ruined and tortured and collapsing Iraq — had also met all the conditions under which a country may be deemed to have sacrificed its own legal sovereignty. To recapitulate: It had invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored and nurtured international thugs and killers, and flouted every provision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United Nations, in this crisis, faced with regular insult to its own resolutions and its own character, had managed to set up a system of sanctions-based mutual corruption. In May 2003, had things gone on as they had been going, Saddam Hussein would have been due to fill Iraq’s slot as chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Meanwhile, every species of gangster from the hero of the Achille Lauro hijacking to Abu Musab al Zarqawi was finding hospitality under Saddam’s crumbling roof. — A War to be Proud Of by Christopher Hitchens, The Weekly Standard, September 2005
Hitchens is arguing that Iraq should be invaded and Saddam replaced without considering what this actually means. He justifies this on the basis that Saddam is evil, something few would disagree with.
There are a number of evil dictators in the world and in history. It is not the place of the United States to remove them all unless they are a clear and present danger to the United States. At the time Saddam was not a clear and present danger, despite what the Bush Administration said.
In fact, the Bush Administration did not actually believe that Saddam was a danger to the United States. Rather they had a vision of restructuring the Middle East and gaining political capital from G.W. Bush being a “war president”.
Hitchens is also repeating the “Saddam is backing terrorism” claim and, by implication, Al Queda. The connection between Saddam and al Zarqawi has been debunked. Saddam was a bad actor, but at the time the US invaded he had not dabbled in terrorism for many years.