The Iraq war's main consequences will not be on the battlefield. They will come later, and will depend on whether George Bush and Tony Blair can justify their onslaught on a largely defenseless population. They launched this war for certain declared reasons, all of which were heatedly debated around the world. If they are vindicated, then the war could conceivably bring a safer world. If their arguments remain unproved or are disproved, then the war will incite instability. In that case, a critical step towards healing the world would be their quick departure from office.
The Iraq War was not and could not be justified on the basis that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant. Justification, if it exists, rests on the danger Saddam's regime posed. Bush and Blair made four claims:
Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction;
those weapons pose a grave, immediate threat;