It has achieved it's real objective - got American control of some oil. Does Bush and co. really care how many people suffer or how many poor Americans die because of it? Of course not. The real *problem* is that the American people refuse to coinsider CONSERVING energy and doing with less fuel like every other major western country can and has. This then dictates their foreign policy which is to trade peace for oil.
Simon, I agree with your point on the real objective being American control of oil. That is the same reason we were in Afghanistan, to make sure we had control so the area would be available for a huge pipeline to be completed. If the real reason was to capture Osama, would make that our main concern, not Iraq, since Osama is still on the loose.
YES, many American's refuse to conserve, instead buying bigger and bigger SUV's in which they mostly drive around empty, except for when their little family goes to the Country Club for dinner or they take the kids to soccer practice. I think many American's have reached a point where they feel they are entitled and refuse to make sacrifices, things like a huge house, huge gas guzzling vehicle are considered status symbols, not realizing that those things really mean nothing as to who you are and what kind of person you are and what you are contributing to society.
I wish we would explore alternative sources of power. I know some has been done regarding solar power, wind power, etc., but it is still cost prohibitive for the average family. With all of our intelligence, you would think we would be further along in making alternative power more widely available and affordable to the average person. I also feel that our foreign policy is to trade peace for oil.