Was the war in Iraq beneficial to US interest is a valid question that can be better answered with the passing of time. It's too early to adequately judge the full long term ramifications of the US involvement in the middle east at this time.
One fact for sure it that the fanatical Muslims who attempt to spread their insane ideologies world wide only respect power and prey on countries that demonstrate weakness. The US was attacked on 9/11 and the connection at that time, even though the facts are suspect now with the advantage of hindsight, drew conclusions that there were valid reasons to get rid of Hussein and his fascist government. But one thing is abundantly clear, had we not gone into Iraq, 9/11 would be just one of the many ill fated dates in American history that future generations of history students would have to memorize.
Due to the strength demonstrated by President Bush after 9/11, love him or hate him, our country is much safer now than before. What country is fool enough to think America is weak ,as we were during the Iranian hostage crisis in the 80's under our worst president, Carter. The answer is none. Why? Because America will do whatever is necessary to protect itself.
Perhaps, we are not loved as before, but most countries hate the US anyway. America is a super power and must conduct itself as one. Being a super power has its responsibilities as well. It means the US should lead the world in financial aid and charity to those countries in need and America has done exactly that, but this fact is usually over looked.
But, one thing is clear to all, as long as America has a republican sitting in the White House, if America is attacked, god forbid, America will retaliate. This is basic survival 101 and all the left wing liberals that believe the Ossam's of this world only want peace and good will with us are as usual... dead wrong.