Implicit in the kerfuffle over WMD is the quest for some kind of magic formula: if we can be 100% certain that Enemy A has WMD then it’s legitimate to strike first—otherwise we have to wait for them to attack. So here’s a question: if they’re our enemy—as Saddam made clear he was—why is it illegitimate to just attack regardless of WMD?
The answer, for the tranzis at least, is that violence by the West and the USA in particular is inherently illegitimate (violence against the West is OK, because it’s always in reaction to previous illegitimate actions by the West). Therefore it’s illegitimate for the West to attack other nations, regardless of WMD. In the same way that the Bush administration seized on WMD out of a constellation of reasons for invading Iraq, the other side has seized on WMD as an issue to pillory the supporters of the invasion. In neither case is WMD really the determinative factor, it simply plays well to the masses.