One of the criticisms levelled at the Iraq war has been to point out the world’s other dictators and America’s perceived inactivity in regards to the threat they pose. I have always criticised this argument as being fundamentally flawed as, even if it were true, it is like arguing that if we cannot have a perfect world we should do nothing to improve the one we have now (which is made even more ironic by the fact that most of those who argue this are “Climate Change Crisis” activists who want us to tackle a problem that isn’t even man-made).
Now I can critcise it as being plain wrong. Iraq was offered the chance to comply with UN regulations and they did not. The whole “we never found WMDs in Iraq” argument somewhat misses the point. When the “invasion” was launched, the coalition’s forces were attacked by long-range missiles, missiles which, had Iraq been adhering to the UN’s instructions, they shouldn’t have had. North Korea is at least adhering to its nuclear disarmament commitments. The two cases aren’t comparable. Saddam was offered the carrot or the stick and chose the stick.