Thinking of the millions of Kurds that would of been continued to be chemically castrated and tortured, I don't feel any regret for our actions. Genocide should of been condemned by the UN, but they were indecisive.
The Vietnam war had little connection with drug trafficking. We actually entered upon the requesst of France, who was responsible for South Vietnam at the time. They called us in and backed out once our troops were mobilized. It was the US, SVA, and South Korea against the NVA. We would of actually won if we had stayed. The question is the cost.
The global oil market uses the petrodollar, if Saddam had been able to continue using Euros it would have had seriously big implications for US debt defaults. The petrodollar drives external demand for the dollar giving the US a opportunity to build massive debt without defaulting. Likewise, if Russia started trading fuel in gold then things will get bad again.
Even if you ignore the humanitarian horrors inside Saddam's regime, there's still much to fear. After the Gulf War, Saddam's fall was looming, with his power slowly slipping, and an implosion seemed inevitable. When the regime did eventually self-destruct, then we'd have a Congo on the world's second-largest petroleum reserves. Iran would intervene to promote Shi'ite interests, and Saudi Arabia would do the same for Sunnis. Turkey would likely intervene to prevent Kurdish autonomy, with Syria likely funding Ba'athist militias. Faced with such a grim alternative, any mishaps and failures on the US's part pale in comparison. And I'm sure the Iraqis and Kurds themselves would prefer to get rid of a murderous regime comparable only to North Korea sooner rather than later.
Full scale occupation was a mistake, but millions of lives and a huge economic downfall were prevented by the coalition invasion. 200 soldiers died, but saved so many lives. Especially among the kurds. Honestly, I wish we would bomb the $hit out of more extremist third world countries. JK