Byline: SCOTT RITTER
IRAQ is America's phantom menace. If the US attacks, it will be the result of a flawed policy by the West against Saddam Hussein.
The Bush administration has foregone any debate on whether Iraq represents a big enough threat to America for it to go to war.
The focus has shifted away from whether we should attack Iraq to how and when we will fight.
So let's consider America's obsession that Iraq is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.
An "engineer" who worked on Saddam's palaces spoke of underground tunnels and secreted documents.
Inspectors found only a drainage tunnel and no documents. But Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi persuaded his American sponsors that the tunnels existed.
When the Americans needed a link between Iraq and September 11, Chalabi trotted out a list of "defectors" who claimed that would-be hijackers were being secretly trained in the town of Salman Pak.
But America's thinking is flawed on two counts.
Iraq has sought to embrace the Western model of economics and society.
And Hussein and Osama bin Laden are complete opposites in terms of ideology and motivation. They are natural …