1) The United States should take a broader, longer-term view of its foreign policy. It seems that we generally make decisions only considering the moment, leaving future administrations (and Americans) to deal with the fall-out. As I've suggested in earlier posts, I think the U.S. should use its "super power" status to also tackle some of the more serious problems facing our world like poverty, access to healthcare, eradicating aids, third world economic development, etc.
2) The U.S. operates strictly out of what it perceives to be its self-interest. Obviously national security and economic concerns will drive this. This shouldn't surprise anyone. Threats can be defined as those that threaten both our security (in literal terms) as well as those that threaten our access to natural (or other) resources that we need to maintain our economy and way of life. Iraw and Korea represent examples of each of these threats
3) While there are sopme superficial similarities, I think that the situations in Korea and Iraq are completely different. Hence, comparisons between our approach to the two don't make a lot of sense to me. While our over-all approach to any nation should probably be more like it is with North Korea currently (with respect to relying on diplomatic tools first), the fact remains that we are in a position to exert more force currently in Iraq to achieve our objectives, and we're doing so.
4) In my opinion, while I do not believe that our approach against Iraq is the wisest and most principled, I do believe that it is in our national interest to secure our country's access to oil. Let's be real here: the entire industrialized world runs on oil. Our way of life and economy would be severely compromised if we lost access to future oil capacity. Many have suggested that Saddam's end game in developing WOMD is not to threaten the Western world militarily, but to consolidate power in the Gulf and control access to the region's oil. IMO, that's the threat that he poses and why we're going after him.
Great post. I hope to see more of you around!