You make some good points, however..
Once again, your post shows that when it comes to this war, everyone's got their own story and they're sticking to it.
1) How do you know qualified arms inspectors weren't available? I imagine they could have been drawn from our European allies. My point is Bush never pursued this option. He never had any intention of pursuing it. He kicked the inspectors out after a couple of months, remember?
2)Yeah. Sure. The more the better. What is the relevance here?
3)You are choosing to believe that the inspections would have been ineffective, based on Saddam's history of spotty cooperation with inspection teams, which I admit is not an unreasonable point of view. Granted, this is probably the weak point of my proposal. However, in my own defense, please note that Saddam's regime had never faced the credible threat of military force until the Gulf buildup of '02-'03, which made projecting his future behavior under this type of pressure based on his past behavior under little or no such pressure sketchy at best, in my opinion. I approved of Bush's show of military strength to force Saddam to re-admit the inspectors; something that was long overdue (Clinton dropped the ball big time on this).
4)The latest information I've read says that Saddam's regime had no significant collaborative relationship with al-Qaida. Granted, this may be old news by now. Can you point me toward a more recent link, perhaps? I really don't see how Kuwait and Iran are relevant to this discussion, but what the heck. I have read in the past that the Kuwait invasion largely resulted from a misunderstanding between Saddam and a US ambassador. I don't actually know if this is true, but it's at least something to consider (and no, please don't label me a Saddam apologist). As for Iran, didn't he have the backing of the U.S.?
5)I don't have any significant argument here, except I'm curious as to where you're getting your actual numbers.
6)You make a decent point here. This is something I've thought about recently. Perhaps Bush's dubious Iraq policy cloaked in the "War on Terror" might be succeeding to some degree in fighting terrorism in spite of itself (by drawing them into the conflict). However, the fact that some terrorists have gone into Iraq (and presumably many are still out there) and that CONUS has not successfully been attacked since 9/11 doesn't mean that we haven't been put at greater risk by Bush's Iraq policy. I still think this policy was the wrong one at the wrong time, and that it put us at greater risk unnecessarily. But I also hope the endless list of 'ifs' turn out favorably and the policy is eventually successful. Of course.
7) Well, to me, this is common sense. I am amazed that anyone could seriously suggest otherwise at this point.
It may somehow all work out in the end; it remains to be seen. The success of this questionable policy is anything but assured at this point.