I was working on a reply to these questions when lo and behold Beldar went ahead and wrote the post I was going to, only more succinctly and capably than I ever could.
The challenge of Islamist terror isn't going to be resolved over a conference table. Iraq without Hussein is good, even if it means that france lost a market for third-tier aircraft and Germany will have to sell chemicals that really will be used for fertilizer. Uday's Olympic Training Table and Medieval Torture Faire or Saddam's Backhoe Grave Diggers will not be missed.
If I thought the domestic opposition to this war was based on anything more noble than a desire to bring down the Bush administration, or the U.N./france/Germany machinations on anything more than pique and envy, I'd take them a little more seriously.
Barring liberal revolutions in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, we will need a solid base for military operations in the heart of the swamp for years to come. Iraq was the sensible choice when we invaded. Twelve years of failing sanctions that were exploited by U.N. profiteers in partnership with Saddam only hurt the Iraqi people. Twelve years of the U.S. and Britain maintaining No-Fly zones served only to give Hussein victim status for propaganda purposes. A functioning, democratic Iraq will have more positive impact on its neighbors than any number of troops we station there...and will ultimately reduce the cost of victory whether we measure it in lives or treasure.