As a CIA assessment said last October: "Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks" in the United States. "Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions." The CIA added that Saddam might order attacks with weapons of mass destruction as "his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him."
Where does the idea that an invasion of Iraq will be bloodless and lead to insta-democracy come from? I've never heard of anyone actually promising that there won't be many casualties. Unless everything is completely different than the public record indicates it is, this "painless regime change" trope is almost complete fantasy, and yet it is repeated constantly.
Atlantic Monthly: Articles on foreign policy and Iraq, 1958 to present. 1958 was the year that Iraqis overthrew Nuri as-Said, the US-supported dictator of the day.
Raven Matrix: Interview with Michael Stutz about copyleft for writing, linux, and washing dishes.