Officially, yes. But they had no evidence for WMDs and accordingly found none. That invasion was only sugarcoated as 'preemptive'. And in the end made everything worse.

Heck yeah it did. Mostly. Does anybody think that this is connected to the Arab Spring in any way?

I'm a fan of Teddy Roosevelt's quote, "Speak softly and carry a big stick...", I feel thats an accurate statement. While we may strive for peace, or somebody else is, there is always somewhere that is warmongering or thirsty for more so if we appear strong, we're fairly safe.