I think I should just say in re: the whole “blood for oil” issue that I don’t think inquiring as to what the subjective understanding of the war’s architects was is a really good way to think about these kinds of issues. For one thing, they doubtless had some disagreements. For another thing, I think that if you somehow used your mind-reading device to peer into the brains of the relevant folks, you would come up with some distinctly non-damning stuff. In this sense, I bet it probably really was a “war for the protection of the United States against a serious threat and to spread democracy and goodness all the world ‘round.”
The issue isn’t really whether they never meant to spread democracy and goodness or never really believed in the threat, the issue is what’s happening. We didn’t stop an actual threat, we aren’t getting an actual democracy, and neither the American consumer nor even American oil companies are getting the black stuff any cheaper than we could have just bought it from Saddam for. Israel is less, not more, secure than it used to be. The war wasn’t fought in order to bog down US forces while enhancing Iranian influence in the Persian Gulf, but that’s what it did and that’s what’s important.