You make some good points there... I guess Serbia wasn't as bad as Iraq, though I disagree that Serbia turned out well. The Muslims are cleansing out their territories. I suppose one side or the other would end up doing such though.
I didn't say it "turned out well", but rather that the bombing mission in Serbia "worked". There's a big difference between stopping the killing for now and ending the killing forever.
What I was thinking was that it was wrong for us to bomb them just as it was wrong for us to enter Iraq without provocation. Both excursions had nothing to do with US interests.
A better example, for you, would be the mission in Kosovo. While it's true that Bosnia didn't directly threaten US interests, European forces were already on the ground there trying and failing to end the war. They wanted US help, and the Bosnians wanted US help. So there was a broad coalition who wanted US help--going back to Bush 41.
Now, Bush 41 wanted to stop the war in Bosnia, but he also had a vision of a "New World Order" where the US was no longer the only power capable of cleaning up the world's messes. He envisioned a world where regional powers could handle regional affairs. Thus, he wanted European powers to handle this European problem.
The failure of Europe's attempts to stop the war in Bosnia, and the success when Clinton got the US involved more or less killed Bush 41's "New World Order" vision. From then on, we were the world's "go to" superpower.
Anyway, in Bosnia we were invited.
The next big crisis was Rwanda, where we weren't invited. It turned into a horrible genocidal slaughter.
As a result, Albright had a very different attitude when the genocide in Kosovo began. In Kosovo, we were the ones who pushed the Europeans to get involved, not the other way around.
Anyway, both Kosovo and Iraq DID involve US interests. In Kosovo, the US interest was the interest in stopping genocide. In Iraq, the US interest was in preventing WMDs from threatening Isreal/US. Whether or not one or both of these were reasonable or correct, those were essentially the justifications.
In my case, I felt that Kosovo was justified while Iraq was not--but I only changed my mind after weeks of Hans Blix's weapons inspectors failed to find the WMDs which I thought were certain to be found within days.
By the time of the actual Iraq invasion, I thought the best evidence was that we needed to wait until we had proof of at least some WMDs before invading. At that point, I was convinced that Saddam no longer had any nuclear weapons program (being too big an effort for Blix not to find evidence of easily), but that surely there were still stockpiles of chemical weapons hidden somewhere. To me, this relieved the pressure to take action right away--chemical weapons may be nasty, but they weren't going to be usable for a big nuclear terrorist attack in the US. Thus, we could afford to spend some more weeks/months letting Blix find those chemical weapons stockpiles before we went in to remove the rest.