Before the Iraq war, Bush officials repeatedly heralded the transformative effect that a liberated Iraq would have both for the U.S. and the Middle East:
BUSH: Acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world. “¦ A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform this vital region by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. [2/26/03]
CHENEY: Should all [Saddam’s] ambitions be realized, the implications would be enormous for the Middle East, for the United States, and for the peace of the world. [8/26/02]
WOLFOWITZ: The stakes of building a peaceful, prosperous Iraq that treats its own people decently and is at peace with its neighbors, the stakes are enormous. “¦ That kind of an Iraq, I think, could be a real force for peace and prosperity and progress throughout the Middle East. [12/4/02]
Your new Iraq:
Hundreds of thousands of Shiites chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” marched through the streets of Baghdad’s biggest Shiite district Friday in a show of support for Hezbollah militants battling Israeli troops in Lebanon.
“Mahdi Army and Hezbollah are one. Let them confront us if they dare,” the predominantly male crowd shouted, waving the flags of Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iraq.
Protesters set fire to American and Israeli flags, as well as effigies of President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, showing the men with Dracula teeth. “Saddam and Bush, Two Faces of One Coin” was scrawled on Bush’s effigy.