One last thought about the Stephen Hayes articles cited below.
Not even Hayes seems to believe that Saddam and his henchmen actually masterminded 9/11 and other al-Qaeda attacks. No one on the right seems to believe that. (Well, no one except Laurie Mylroie and her fans, many of whom, alas, seem to be running the country. I wonder who they think is running al-Qaeda right now -- Uday and Qusay, from beyond the grave?)
If you believe Iraq was an al-Qaeda ally, but you recognize that al-Qaeda actually did the deeds, aren't you advocating something rather bizarre if you think it was good idea to essentially abandon the pursuit of al-Qaeda and make Iraq "the central front in the war on terror"?
Isn't it a bit like saying that the British should have pulled troops out of the Colonies and invaded France, declaring France "the central front" in the war on American independence?