I watched the convention last night. The speeches were, by and large, effective, I thought. John McCain gave a measured, articulate rationale for the war and why he is supporting Bush. The idea that in today's post 9/11 world, that someone like Saddam -- who has previously pursued and used WMD, and who has sponsored terrorist activities against Israel by offering payments to the families of suicide bombers, who if left alone, would surely at some point pursue those weapons again -- needs to go makes sense. It is the removing of a potential threat.
What my, and I think a lot of other people's problem is, that is not the stated reason for going to war. We've been told, rushed and pushed, really, with threats and false intelligence into a war we really weren't prepared for. It was, essentially, fire first and justify later. The spread of freedom is a war of ideas - and by brandishing the image of imperialism our values and ideals may appear false to those we are trying to convert to a supportive stance for democracy and liberalization of freedoms.
We must remain vigilant and ready to use force where necessary, and that need will come again. However, we must recognize it for what it is - it is not war in the traditional sense. The hope of peace and freedom must appear legitimate, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to pursue those goals with force alone. Our position of strength requires we respect the rights and values of the peoples we are working to release from the bonds of terror. It is more difficult - it will take longer. In the end, however, I believe this is the right path to take.