Bush has pretty much guaranteed that whatever happens in Iraq, he (and unfortunately, we) can’t win.
1. We wait for the UN inspections, and end up going to war with the support of the UN. Perhaps the best possible outcome, but the excesses of Bush’s posturing make us look like chumps.
2. We wait for the UN inspections, and, miracle of miracles, some good actually comes of it. Iraq disarms, Saddam steps down and everyone lives happily ever after. Yeah, right, like that is going to happen. Even if it does, we look like assholes, we also look weak for beating our chests so much before doing nothing.
3. We don’t wait, and instead go in and win a victory without a protracted war. Could happen, but it isn’t going to end well. Bush will have cheezed off most of the rest of the world and so we’ll have to fight entropy in Iraq at great expense to ourselves at a time when we don’t really have much headroom in the economy.
4. We don’t wait for the UN, go in, win victory, and everyone in Iraq lives happily ever after, so the rest of the world grudgingly accepts that Bush was right. Not bloody likely. Instead, Iraq will melt down, the middle-east will be an even bigger mess than it is now, and Bush and his cronies will be out of office dining on their ill gotten gains, leaving someone else to try and restablish our credibility in the world.