The way I see it, there is absolutely no justification for saying countries need to sit back and wait for a successful attack to be perpetrated against them before acting to defuse a threat, just like preparations for a murder spree domestically are sufficient for intervening to prevent it.
The US perceived a threat against it and acted. The international community (i.e. the UN) would not have done anything to defuse the risk and therefore it fell to the Americans to protect themselves.
And other position is lunacy.
Jun. 18, 2004 16:08
Putin: Russia warned US about Iraqi attacks
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Russia warned Washington before the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein's regime was preparing attacks against the United States and its interests abroad, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
Putin said he couldn't comment on how critical the Russians' information was in the U.S. decision to invade Iraq. However, he said the intelligence didn't cause Russia to waver from its firm opposition to the war.
"After Sept. 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, the Russian special services ... received information that officials from Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States and outside it against the U.S. military and other interests," Putin said.
"Despite that information ... Russia's position on Iraq remains unchanged," Putin said in the Kazakh capital Astana after regional economic and security summits.
Putin said Russia didn't have any information that Saddam's regime had actually been behind any terrorist acts.
"It's one thing to have information that Saddam's regime is preparing terrorist attacks, (but) we didn't have information that it was involved in any known terrorist attacks," Putin said.
Putin didn't elaborate on any details of the terror plots or mention whether they were tied to the al-Qaida terror network. He said U.S. President George W. Bush had personally thanked one of the leaders of Russia's intelligence agencies for the information.
A commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States reported this week that while there were contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq, they did not appear to have produced "a collaborative relationship."
However, Bush alleged Thursday that Saddam had "numerous contacts" with al-Qaida and said Iraqi agents had met with the terror network's leader, Osama bin Laden, in Sudan.
Saddam "was a threat because he had terrorist connections - not only al-Qaida connections, but other connections to terrorist organizations," Bush said.
Also Thursday, a top Russian diplomat called for international inspectors to conclusively resolve the question of whether Iraq had any weapons of mass destruction - one of the main reasons Bush used to justify the war.
"This problem must be resolved ... because to a great extent it became the pretext for the start of the war against Iraq," Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said in Moscow, according to Interfax news agency.
He said such a finding would allow the U.N. Security Council to "turn a page and finally close the dossier on Iraqi weapons."