How did the U.S. government lead its people to war?

Four Items of Note

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Ironically, senior Bush officials would at times ascribe to Iraq and al-Qaeda the same actions and attributes that could just as well be applied to themselves.



BUSH:  He [Hussein] has shown, instead, utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world.

Knowing that the U.S. did not have enough votes from the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution to legally authorize the use of military force against Iraq, in March 2003 the Bush administration dropped its efforts to gain a new resolution, defied the U.N. and went to war anyway. 

The U.S. took military action despite strong opposition from a majority of the world’s governments and their citizens.


REPORTER:  Tariq Aziz said this morning – he characterized you and several other people in the Bush administration as “warmongers,” as using the issue of inspections as a pretext to try to topple the regime. And he said he is willing to sit down and talk about all of the issues involving Iraq.

RUMSFELD:  Well I’ve met with Tariq Aziz a number of times, both in Baghdad and in Washington and elsewhere. And clearly, he does the bidding of his master, Saddam Hussein. They have, over a good many years, demonstrated wonderful talent and skill at manipulating the media, and international organizations and other countries. When it’s the right moment to lean forward, they lean forward. When it’s the right moment to lean back, they lean back. And it’s a dance, it’s a dance they engage in.

As seen in the 14 months leading up to war in Iraq, the Bush administration possessed remarkable skill at manipulating the media, as well as the opinions and actions of other countries and international organizations including the United Nations.

BUSH:  This is a fellow [Osama bin Laden] who’s willing to commit youngsters to their death...

In initiating the war in Iraq, President Bush has sacrificed the lives of thousands of young American men and women.


CHENEY: Many of them [Arab leaders] know that right after us, they’re high on his list of governments he’d like to do in.

Ironically, the Bush administration itself had a list of nations it would like to “do in” – including Iraq, Iran and Syria. 



[continue on to the next section: Why Iraq?]

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