My first response to the invasion of Iraq was, "This is a mistake."... but I also assumed the government must surely know something they couldn't say publicly. That does not seem to really be the case with what I have heard so far.
I still don't think it's clear what the urgency to go into Iraq was and that the "most favorable" interpretation of whatever suited their goal was what was motivated them to pick and choose their "facts".
So there's lots of room for debate and back and forth on who, what and why but it is all speculation as well.
On the subject of Iraq in the Saddam era--and looking back at it from the perspective of what was happening before 9-11--it was a threat to stability in the Middle East and world (though not for terrorism or even WMDs in particular). If the protests and riots in the Middle East now occurred under Saddam, we already know exactly what would have happened to the protesters. They would have been poison gassed back at their villages until ever man, woman and child was dead. They would have been arrested, tortured and then executed and thrown into mass graves.
We can know with certainty this is what would happen because it is exactly was did happen to the Shi'ites and Kurds who revolted. Remember the video of several hundred wailing Iraqi men and women digging in the dirt with their hands and fingers because they heard a rumor (untrue) that their arrested family members might have been buried alive in an underground prison there?
Iraq invaded Kuwait but what is not often discussed was that he also planned to invade Saudi Arabia--either by appealing to revolutionaries stirred up by him within Saudi Arabia after Kuwait was secured and then coming to "help" or simply by driving in with his army--which was the fourth largest in the world at the time. The first serious ground fight of the war was U.S. and Iraqi Revolutionary Guard forces in a Saudi Arabian town--and we were in Saudi Arabia because the Saudi's expressly asked the US to come fearing they were going to be invaded.
The aluminum tubes thought to be for nukes and later it was concluded were probably only for "conventional" weapons were not "stock" bodies for rpg's and scuds and the like. They were casings for smaller rockets that would have very high thrust (and that equals larger payload and/or range). These were not cheap casing of typical Soviet era designed weapons in use at the time. These would have been faster, longer ranged and heavier hitting artillery/rocket shells capable of carrying large conventional payloads greater distances. The sort of thing one would use for a deep advance chemical artillery barrage during an invasion.
Don't forget the nuclear power plant taken out in the 80's and during the Gulf War, "Human shields anyone?".
Project Babylon, financed and approved by Saddam, was Gerald Bull's "supergun" and would have had the capability to hit Israel with 4500 lb shells that could be fired up to low earth orbit.-- taking out Israel was part of the role Saddam stated on numerous occasions was his "destiny" (remember the scuds falling there?). The gun likely would not have been used as Gerald Bull was dispatched by the Mossad and Iraq had little capability to work on refining the design further but it shows the intent and desire of Saddam. It also would have been a serious threat to Iran.
So we know Saddam was inhuman in his treatment of his own people, was willing to start a war in the Middle East and to seize its major oil fields--toppling major governments there in order to do so.
I don't think Amercians would have supported going into Iraq after 9-11 but that doesn't invalidate the fact that Iraq was a threat and danger in many ways and always had been. I haven't heard any of the finger pointers and blame throwers even address the humanitarian issues and serious threat to world stability in their rants.
Saddam was a megolmaniac and a war waiting to happen...yet the same people who rail against us being there are often "all for" our helping topple the government in Libya--which is far less a concern to us here "across the pond".
People get worked into a frenzy on their selected issue and then that becomes the only issue that matters. Life isn't that simple.