Iraq War

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The UN's Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix... found no evidence of nuclear weapons in Iraq. Every scrap of evidence produced by the US and British governments was found to be false. ~Arundhati Roy
The invasion of Iraq will surely go down in history as one of the most cowardly wars ever fought. It was a war in which a band of rich nations, armed with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over, rounded on a poor nation, falsely accused it of having nuclear weapons, used the United Nations to force it to disarm, then invaded it ~Arundhati Roy
Who will demand accountability for the failure of our national political leadership involved in... this war? They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty. In my profession, these types of leaders would immediately be relieved or court martialed. ~Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez
[T]he Iraq invasion... I have to say as somebody who was born and raised in a Communist country, I cannot criticize any action that led to the destruction of dictatorship. ~ Garry Kasparov
It was obvious from the beginning that the Bush administration was determined to get rid of Saddam Hussein with or without UN sanction. Mr Bush is determined to do what his father ‘failed’ to do and so prove himself as big as, or bigger than, his father. The people behind him have their eyes on Iraqi oil. ~Benjamin Creme
On April 9, 2003, television networks across the globe cut to a live scene unfolding in Baghdad’s Firdos Square. A motley hybrid of what appeared to be ordinary Iraqis and uniformed U.S. troops — who had begun to occupy Baghdad — pulled down a massive statue of Saddam Hussein. It was a brilliant, semi-staged propaganda exercise meant to reinforce the neoconservative promise that ordinary Iraqis would be exuberant over the fall of the regime and welcome the U.S. troops as liberators. ... There was a massive banner with that message created just for that moment. In reality, this particular war was just beginning and it continues on to this day. It is important to examine what happened in this war and how it happened: the lies, the crimes, the mass killings, the destruction — all of it. ~ Jeremy Scahill

The Iraq War was an armed conflict that began in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a U.S.-led coalition that overthrew the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the coalition forces and the new, post-invasion Iraqi government. In the aftermath of the 2003 invasion, Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005.

Quotes[edit]

  • The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001. It said that 9/11 ring leader Mohammed Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq—thus showing finally that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice Presidents Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.
    • Ron Suskind, The Way of the World; p. 371 [about Bush] <date?>
  • They're not going to like this downtown.
    • Then-CIA director George Tenet, upon learning in early 2003 that, in secret meetings between British intelligence and Saddam's intelligence chief, Tahir
  • Jalil Habbush, Habbush claimed Iraq had no WMD; Ron Suskind, The Way of the World
    • "Downtown" refers to the White House. [about Bush] <date?>
  • To a certain extent Saddam Hussein's departure was a positive thing. But it also provoked reactions, such as the mobilization in a number of countries, of men and women of Islam, which has made the world more dangerous.
  • If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace. Because what America is saying is that if you are afraid of a veto in the Security Council, you can go outside and take action and violate the sovereignty of other countries. That is the message they are sending to the world. That must be condemned in the strongest terms."
  • The option of war can appear initially to be the most rapid. But let us not forget that after winning the war, peace must be built.
  • When war, as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to follow to construct a more just and united society. Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of man.

2003[edit]

  • We want to say to America: Is it worth it to you? Won't you have have, afterward, decades of hostility in the Islamic world?
    • Cardinal Angelo Sodano [7]
  • In my opinion, it disrespects the United Nations. It doesn't take into account what the rest of the world thinks. And I think this is serious.
  • It was obvious from the beginning that the Bush administration was determined to get rid of Saddam Hussein with or without UN sanction. Mr Bush is determined to do what his father ‘failed’ to do and so prove himself as big as, or bigger than, his father. The people behind him have their eyes on Iraqi oil.
  • Why don't they ask [Saddam's intelligence chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush] to give us something we can use to help us make our case [to link 9/11 and Saddam]?
    • George W. Bush, from Ron Suskind, The Way of the World, p. 364, on Bush's frustration at the results of secret meetings between British intelligence and Saddam's intelligence chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush [by Bush, 2003]
  • It's an intelligence document written by the then head of Iraqi intelligence, Habbush to Saddam. It's dated the 1st of July, 2001. And it‘s basically a memo saying that Mohammed Atta has successfully completed a training course at the house of Abu Nidal, the infamous Palestinian terrorist, who, of course, was killed by Saddam a couple of months later. Now, this is the first, really, concrete proof that al Qaeda was working with Saddam. It‘s a very explosive development
    • Con Coughlin, Sunday Telegraph; December 14, 2003 on Meet the Press; [9]
    • See Ron Suskind quotes on validity of the document. [about Bush]

2004[edit]

  • Audience Member: Negrodamus, why is President Bush convinced there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
Negrodamus: Because he has the receipt.
  • The option of war can appear initially to be the most rapid. But let us not forget that after winning the war, peace must be built.
  • Cronyism and corruption are major factors in Iraq's downward spiral.
    • Paul Krugman, "What Went Wrong?", New York Times (April 23, 2004)

2005[edit]

  • Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done. It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors, one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country.

2006[edit]

  • [T]here is no longer a preponderance of military force that allows the West to impose its will, the U.S. defeat in Iraq being the most extraordinary illustration of that fact.
    • Jean Bricmont (2006), Humanitarian Imperialism, Monthly Review Press, p. 14.
  • I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is — my point is, there's a strong will for democracy.

2007[edit]

  • Who will demand accountability for the failure of our national political leadership involved in the management of this war? They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty. In my profession, these types of leaders would immediately be relieved or court martialed.
  • The true number of civilian dead in Iraq has now exceeded 800,000, while wounded, to a greater or lesser degree, amount to at least one million. For how much longer can the occupying powers hide these figures from their people? It goes without saying that every effort is made by these powers to hide and diminish, for their own purposes, these appalling statistics of destruction. It is no wonder, therefore, that millions of Iraqis have fled their country. Is it surprising that soon the invasion of Iraq will be recognized as the greatest disaster of recent times: unlawful, unnecessary, and arrogant in the extreme?

2008[edit]

  • As I have heard Bush say, only a wartime president is likely to achieve greatness, in part because the epochal upheavals of war provide the opportunity for transformative change of the kind Bush hoped to achieve. In Iraq, Bush saw his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness.
    • Scott McClellan, What Happened (2008), pp. 131. (on Bush's need to be a wartime president to improve the chance of a "great" legacy)
  • In this case, the 'liberal media' didn't live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.
    • Scott McClellan, What Happened (2008)
  • As a Texas loyalist who followed Bush to Washington with great hope and personal affection and as a proud member of his administration, I was all too ready to give him and his highly experienced foreign policy advisers the benefit of the doubt on Iraq. Unfortunately, subsequent events have showed that our willingness to trust the judgment of Bush and his team was misplaced.
    • Scott McClellan, What Happened (2008)
  • [Habbush] tells us there are no WMDs. He tells us Saddam's mindset, that he's afraid of the Iranians more than us, afraid of being showed to be a toothless tiger. That is something we ignore.
    • Ron Suskind, on meetings between British intelligence and Saddam Hussein's intelligence chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush, demonstrating Saddam's claim in jail years later that he didn't disclose his lack of WMDs for fear of Iran's perception of Iraq is not the first time the U.S. learned of it, on The Daily Show; August 11, 2008.
  • Stewart: And the letter says literally in it Mohammad Atta did train in Iraq, and the uranium thing. Did anyone think it was weird that the letter combined the two things that were in question, that in the letter it said, Oh, and he did buy uranium from Niger...?
    Suskind: … It was an overreach moment. The letter popped up. Tom Brokaw did it on Meet the Press. William Safire writes about it. A couple days in, about a week in, people are just like, Geez, it's an awful lot in one letter. And that overreach kind of revealed it to be fraudulent.
    Stewart: Why didn't anyone pursue it at that time, the fraudulent nature of it? Why did that just fall away?
    Suskind: It was hard to get at. It's a closely held thing, and this is an operation through the CIA. You need someone who's going to stand up in daylight and say, Hey, this is what happened.
    Stewart: Your source in the CIA, Richard?
    Suskind: He's one of the folks.
    Stewart: He now says, I never said that; I was just kidding around. What's the situation with that?
    Suskind: He's a good guy. All the [sources] involved here are good guys, walking around with a kind of lump in their chest for awhile. I'm sympathetic to all the sources. They're under a lot of pressure. In this particular part of the book, there are a lot of disclosures, but this one, the White House is obviously intensely interested in, since there may be illegality that has constitutional consequences.
    Stewart: That is maybe the nicest way of saying "impeachment" I think I've ever heard in my life.
    • Ron Suskind, on CIA involvement in the fraudulent letter by Tahir Habbush claiming a link between Iraq, Atta, and Niger uranium, on The Daily Show; August 11, 2008


2014[edit]

  • These are not just geopolitical fights based on principle, but these fights are based on real material realities, real material advantages. So you look at the routes of these various pipelines that are being proposed and actually built to bring natural gas from Central Asia to the European markets. Turkey felt that it was in their interest to make sure that they can influence the best deal possible that will allow them to be positioned to take full advantage of these pipelines. That's one of the reasons many people argue that Syria had to go: that when there were proposals to run these natural gas pipelines from Iran through Iraq and through Syria, that it was a direct threat to some of the ambitions that Erdogan has for Turkey.
  • Barack Obama became the fourth consecutive U.S. president to order air strikes in Iraq.

    President George Bush went into Iraq in 1991 during the Gulf War under the auspices of a U.N. Security Council resolution against the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and with a resolution authorizing the use of military force (AUMF) from Congress.  In the late 1990s, President Bill Clinton ordered airstrikes in Iraq in 1998, claiming Saddam Hussein had been thwarting U.N. weapons inspectors, sans Congressional authorization, arguing the strikes were a temporary measure covered by the War Powers Act.  In 2003, under the pretext of problems with the treatment of U.N. weapons inspectors and using multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions to justify the action, President George W. Bush ordered an invasion of Iraq.  He, too, had an AUMF, pinned on U.N. Security Council resolutions worried about weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  Last year President Obama reinserted the U.S. military into Iraq to combat ISIS.

2016[edit]

  • [I]t's very popular to criticize Bush today, Bush 43. Especially for the Iraq invasion, and I’ve heard many voices, even within the Republican Party, it’s just floating with the popular trend. First of all, I have to say as somebody who was born and raised in a Communist country, I cannot criticize any action that led to the destruction of dictatorship.

2018[edit]


Arundhati Roy in her 2004 Sydney Peace Prize lecture, University of Sydney (4 November 2004)[edit]

  • The invasion of Iraq will surely go down in history as one of the most cowardly wars ever fought. It was a war in which a band of rich nations, armed with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over, rounded on a poor nation, falsely accused it of having nuclear weapons, used the United Nations to force it to disarm, then invaded it, occupied it...
  • Iraq marks the beginning of a new cycle. It offers us an opportunity to watch the Corporate-Military cabal that has come to be known as 'Empire' at work...As the battle to control the world's resources intensifies, economic colonialism through formal military aggression is staging a comeback. Iraq is the logical culmination of the process of corporate globalization in which neo-colonialism and neo-liberalism have fused.
  • If we can find it in ourselves to peep behind the curtain of blood, we would glimpse the pitiless transactions taking place backstage. But first, briefly, the stage itself. In 1991 US President George Bush senior mounted Operation Desert Storm... Half a million Iraqi children died because of the regime of economic sanctions in the run up to Operation Shock and Awe. Until recently, while there was a careful record of how many US soldiers had lost their lives, we had no idea of how many Iraqis had been killed. US General Tommy Franks said "We don't do body counts" (meaning Iraqi body counts). He could have added "We don't do the Geneva Convention either."
  • A new, detailed study, fast-tracked by the Lancet medical journal and extensively peer reviewed, estimates that 100,000 Iraqis have lost their lives since the 2003 invasion. That's one hundred halls full of people - like this one. That's one hundred halls full of friends, parents, siblings, colleagues, lovers...like you. The difference is that there aren't many children here today let's not forget Iraq's children. Technically that bloodbath is called precision bombing. In ordinary language, it's called butchering,
  • So the 'civilized' 'modern' world - built painstakingly on a legacy of genocide, slavery and colonialism - now controls most of the world's oil. And most of the world's weapons, most of the world's money, and most of the world's media. The embedded, corporate media in which the doctrine of Free Speech has been substituted by the doctrine of Free If You Agree Speech.
  • The UN's Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix said he found no evidence of nuclear weapons in Iraq. Every scrap of evidence produced by the US and British governments was found to be false - whether it was reports of Saddam Hussein buying uranium from Niger, or the report produced by British Intelligence which was discovered to have been plagiarized from an old student dissertation. And yet, in the prelude to the war, day after day the most 'respectable' newspapers and TV channels in the US, headlined the 'evidence' of Iraq's arsenal of weapons of nuclear weapons.
  • What does peace mean to the poor who are being actively robbed of their resources and for whom everyday life is a grim battle for water, shelter, survival and, above all, some semblance of dignity? For them, peace is war.
  • We know very well who benefits from war in the age of Empire. But we must also ask ourselves honestly who benefits from peace in the age of Empire? War mongering is criminal. But talking of peace without talking of justice could easily become advocacy for a kind of capitulation. And talking of justice without unmasking the institutions and the systems that perpetrate injustice, is beyond hypocritical.
  • It's easy to blame the poor for being poor. It's easy to believe that the world is being caught up in an escalating spiral of terrorism and war. That's what allows the American President to say "You're either with us or with the terrorists." But we know that that's a spurious choice. We know that terrorism is only the privatization of war. That terrorists are the free marketers of war. They believe that the legitimate use of violence is not the sole prerogative of the State.
  • It is mendacious to make moral distinction between the unspeakable brutality of terrorism and the indiscriminate carnage of war and occupation. Both kinds of violence are unacceptable. We cannot support one and condemn the other.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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