Extending the war into Iraq would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Exceeding the U.N.’s mandate would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.
From “Why We Didn’t Remove Saddam” by George Bush [Sr.] and Brent Scowcroft, Time Magazine, 1998
Via IraqBodyCount.com. Let the record show: 10,000 civilian casualties so far.