The Downing Street Memo
They had sort of put themselves in a bind really. Once the rest of the world thought Bush was going to war, backing down would have made America look weak. Of course, it was reprehensible for them to put us in such a situation.
I haven't really talked that much about the Iraq War because I have long had mixed feelings about whether or not it was a good idea. The current state of my fluid assessment is that it could have been the right thing, but Bush screwed it up. Things are not going well now, and that has ruined any strategic advantage the United States would have gotten by being there.
Saddam was a tyrant, truly. But there were other tyrants in the world. There were other tyrants that were far more dangerous. Saddam was the tyrant we could topple, and so we did. But it was absolutely not because Saddam was a tyrant. It was because Iraq is a very strategic place to be if you want to exert pressure on Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, and the Gulf states.
Of course, they couldn't tell us that was the reason they went. Americans don't want war for strategic positioning. So they misled us. And they got caught. That's embarrassing for the United States abroad and offensive to US citizens who don't believe our government should mislead us into war.