Rationales For the Iraq War

President Bush has repeatedly offered differing reasons for why we went to war in Iraq. Last night, we heard the latest and most egregious explanation — that we had to go to war in Iraq as a direct result of 9/11. Here is a list of a few of Bush’s reasons for going into Iraq:

Reason #1) Went to War As a Direct Result of 9/11

Bush: “The war reached our shores on September the 11th, 2001 Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war.” [Bush, 6/28/05]

Bush: “We went to war because we were attacked.” [Bush, 6/18/05]


Reason #2) WMD

Bush: “This is not about inspectors; this is about a disarmed Iraq. He has weapons of mass destruction — the world’s deadliest weapons — which pose a direct threat to the United States, our citizens and our friends and allies. He has been told to disarm for 11 long years. He’s not disarming.” [Bush, 1/21/03]

Reason #3) Links to Al Qaeda

Bush: “This is a man who, in my judgment, would like to use al-Qaeda as a forward army.” [Bush, 10/14/02]

Reason #4) Reform the Greater Middle East

Bush: “A free Iraq can be a source of hope for all of the Middle East. Instead of threatening its neighbors and harboring terrorists, Iraq can be an example of progress and prosperity in a region that needs both. [Bush, 2/20/03]

Reason #5) Liberate the Oppressed

Bush: “In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.” [Bush, 3/17/03]

Reason #6) Protect Integrity of the U.N.

Bush: “We are enforcing the demands of the United Nations.” [Bush, 3/28/03]

Reason #7) Fight Them Abroad So We Don’t Face Them At Home

Bush: “We will be unrelenting in our defense of this country, by finding the enemy before they find us. Listen, we want to whip them in Iraq before we have to face them here at home.” [Bush, 7/9/04]

Reason #8) Pursued Policy of Previous Administration

Bush: “Like the previous administration, we were for regime change.” [Bush, 1/12/04]

Reason #9) Removed a State Sponsor of Terror

Bush: “Because America and our allies acted, a state sponsor of terror was put out of business.” [Bush, 3/18/04]