US - Iraq War
Pros and Cons
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Last updated on: 1/19/2009 12:14:00 PM PST

Should the US have attacked Iraq?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

The International Crisis Group (ICG) wrote in its Feb. 24, 2003 report titled "Iraq Policy Briefing: Is There an Alternative to War?" on the ICG website:
"The policy dilemmas posed by the Iraqi crisis are much more acute, and the issues much more finely balanced, than most of those publicly supporting or opposing war are prepared to acknowledge. There is still broad international agreement about the objectives to be pursued: ensuring that Iraq does not constitute a threat, disarming it of the weapons of mass destruction it still retains (as demanded by Security Council Resolution 1441), and improving the condition of the Iraqi people (as demanded both by common decency and the Iraqi people themselves). But following the inspectors' reports to the UN Security Council on 14 February 2003 and the extraordinary scale of the worldwide anti-war demonstrations over the following days, achieving international consensus on how to achieve these objectives appears as difficult as ever.

This policy briefing does not offer clear conclusions and recommendations – not least because views within the ICG Board are as sharply divided as those within the international community."


Feb. 24, 2003 - International Crisis Group (ICG) 

Should the US have attacked Iraq?

PRO (yes) CON (no)
Iyad Allawi, PhD, Interim Prime Minister of Iraq at the time of the quote, was quoted in a Sep. 23, 2004 transcript titled "Allawi Thanks America" on the FOX News website:

"We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq's freedom. I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain...

Your decision to go to war in Iraq was not an easy one but it was the right one."


Sep. 23, 2004 - Iyad Allawi, PhD 

George W. Bush, MBA, 43rd US President, stated in an Aug. 18, 2003 interview with Armed Forces Radio and Television Service:
"This is a part of the war on terror. And the effect of what we have done in Iraq and what we're doing in Iraq will be a very positive effect on future generations of Americans, and that's very important for people to understand."

Aug. 18, 2003 - George W. Bush, MBA 

Nouri al-Maliki, MA, State Prime Minister of Iraq, was quoted in a July 26, 2006 US Embassy press release titled "Remarks by President Bush and PM Mailiki at Lunch with Military Personnel and Families":

"...We are happy to be partners in this holy task of fighting terrorism and establishing democracy. Iraq, because of what you have offered, because of what your sons have offered, your families have offered, has now moved from dictatorship to democracy; from oppression, torture chambers, chemical weapons, and now into a state of freedom, liberty and partnership... And we are confident that we will succeed, because you, and people like you are helping us to confront terrorism -- terrorism that is spreading in our land -- with foreign support."


July 26, 2006 - Nouri al-Maliki, MA 

L. Paul Bremer, III, MBA, former Chief Executive of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, wrote in an Oct. 8, 2004 New York Times article titled "What I Really Said About Iraq":
"The president was right when he concluded that Saddam Hussein was a menace who needed to be removed from power. He understands that our enemies are not confined to Al Qaeda, and certainly not just to Osama bin Laden, who is probably trapped in his hide-out in Afghanistan. As the bipartisan 9/11 commission reported, there were contacts between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime going back a decade. We will win the war against global terror only by staying on the offensive and confronting terrorists and state sponsors of terror - wherever they are...

President Bush has said that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. He is right."


Oct. 8, 2004 - L. Paul Bremer, III, MBA 

Rolf Ekéus, former Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), wrote in "Iraq's Real Weapons Threat," a June 29, 2003 Washington Post article:

"The chemical and biological warfare structures in Iraq constitute formidable international threats through potential links to international terrorism...

This is enough to justify the international military intervention undertaken by the United States and Britain. To accept the alternative -- letting Hussein remain in power with his chemical and biological weapons capability -- would have been to tolerate a continuing destabilizing arms race in the gulf, including future nuclearization of the region, threats to the world's energy supplies, leakage of WMD technology and expertise to terrorist networks, systematic sabotage of efforts to create and sustain a process of peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and the continued terrorizing of the Iraqi people."


June 29, 2003 - Rolf Ekéus 

John Yoo, JD, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the US Department of Justice at the time of the quote, wrote in an Aug. 4, 2003 article titled "Why Iraq's Weapons Don't Matter" in Legal Times:
"Suppose, after months of combing Hussein's hideouts and all the other nooks and crannies throughout Iraq, coalition forces never find a single WMD. Even if none come to light, the war to remove Hussein would still be legitimate.

What is important from the perspective of international law is not whether Iraq had WMD in the end. What matters is whether, at the time of the invasion, it appeared reasonably necessary to defend against Iraq's threat to U.S. national and international security."

Aug. 4, 2003 - John Yoo, JD 

David Kay, PhD, former Special Advisor for Strategy regarding Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs, stated in an Oct. 20, 2002 address to the Washington Institute Special Policy Forum titled "Iraq's WMD Declaration: How Important? How to Respond?":
"Washington should pursue regime change. Containment is a failed policy, and inspections are unlikely to lead to Iraq's disarmament. Only regime change is likely to result in the discovery and destruction of Iraq's WMD.

While this course of action entails numerous risks, the United States cannot afford to ignore Saddam's WMD threat; doing so would endanger the lives of many innocent Americans by paving the way for a bigger, more deadly event along the lines of the September 11 attacks."


Oct. 20, 2002

Oct. 20, 2002 - David Kay, PhD 

[Editor's Note: Prior to Hillary Clinton's Nov. 29, 2005 Con quote, she made the following Pro statement in an Oct. 10, 2002 US Senate floor speech on "A Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq" (SJRes 45)]:

"It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons...

So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed."


Oct. 10, 2002 - Hillary Clinton, JD 

Peter Pace, MA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time of the quote, stated in a Mar. 9, 2006 interview on Meet the Press with Tim Russert:
"Bottom line is that the Iraqi people are - are still so much better off today than they were under Saddam Hussein, that they’ve had three elections. They are getting their own government ... I mean, no matter what section of the society you look at right now, they are better off today than they were under Saddam Hussein."

Mar. 9, 2006 - Peter Pace, MA 

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Staff wrote in a Mar. 18, 2003 Wall Street Journal article titled "The 12-Year War":
"Amid the fog of diplomacy these past few months, it has been easy to lose sight of American purposes in Iraq. But as President Bush reminded us last night, the imminent war to liberate the world from Saddam Hussein is both just and necessary...

Saddam may lack the means to invade the U.S., but we learned on September 11 that enemies can strike our homeland in other ways. With revenge as a motive, horrifying weapons as a means and terrorists willing to serve as his opportunity, Saddam poses a clear and present danger to Americans."

Mar. 18, 2003 - Wall Street Journal 

Thomas L. Friedman, MA, Foreign Affairs Columnist for the New York Times, wrote in a Slate article titled "Liberal Hawks Reconsider the Iraq War" on Jan. 12, 2004:

"The right reason for this war, as I argued before it started, was to oust Saddam's regime and partner with the Iraqi people to try to implement the Arab Human Development report's prescriptions in the heart of the Arab world.

That report said the Arab world is falling off the globe because of a lack of freedom, women's empowerment, and modern education. The right reason for this war was to partner with Arab moderates in a long-term strategy of dehumiliation and redignification."


Jan. 12, 2004 - Thomas L. Friedman, MA 

James Woolsey, LLB, MA, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), wrote in "Making Iraq Safe for Democracy," a Feb. 28, 2002 Globalist article:
"Our only sound strategy is to take the side of the people against the predators and - albeit less urgently - the autocrats as well.

We should destroy Saddam's regime - the way we destroyed the Taliban - and bring democracy to Iraq."

Feb. 28, 2002 - James Woolsey, LLB, MA 

The White House Office of Global Communications wrote in a Mar. 26, 2003 "Global Message of the Day" on its website:
"Our Coalition is on a steady advance, bound together by the principle of protecting all nations from a brutal regime armed with weapons that could kill thousands of innocent people.

We're fighting an enemy that knows no rules of law and is willing to kill in order to continue Saddam Hussein's reign of fear.

We cannot know the duration of this war. Yet we know its outcome; we will prevail. The Iraqi regime will be disarmed. The Iraqi regime will be ended. The Iraqi people will be free. And our world will be more secure and peaceful."

Mar. 26, 2003 - White House Office of Global Communications 

Victor Davis Hanson, PhD, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, in a Fall 2003 article titled "Why We Must Stay" in the Hoover Digest, wrote:
"Our presence in Iraq is one of the most principled efforts in a sometimes checkered history of U.S. foreign policy.

Yes, there is infighting among the Kurds, the Shiites, and the Sunnis, but this is precisely because Saddam Hussein pitted the sects against each other for 30 years in order to subjugate them; we are now trying to unite them so that they might govern themselves."

Fall 2003 - Victor Davis Hanson, PhD 

Howard J. Teicher, MA, former Senior Director of Political-Military Affairs in the National Security Council Staff, stated in an email to ProCon.org on July 10, 2006:
"I favored attacking Iraq WITH the support of the United Nations based on my long-term assessment – since 1977 – of the Iraqi threat to Vital American interests in the Middle East and Iraq’s demonstrated use of WMD."

July 10, 2006 - Howard J. Teicher, MA 

[Editor's Note: Prior to Scott McClellan's 2008 Con quote, he made the following Pro statement in a July 22, 2003 White House Press Briefing]:
"There was a mountain of evidence about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. The threat was real and it became even more real...as we looked at it through the lens of September 11th. It was a grave and gathering threat, as the President pointed out, and it was important that we provide leadership and confront that threat.

The United Nations Security Council provided a resolution that gave Saddam Hussein one last opportunity to comply. Remember, he defied the United Nations and the international community for 12 years. He was an individual that possessed chemical and biological weapons, and sought to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program. He was an individual that had used chemical weapons on his own people in the past. So Iraq was a very unique situation, and it was a part -- it was part of our broader effort to win the war on terrorism."

July 22, 2003 - Scott McClellan 

Kenneth M. Pollack, PhD, Director of Research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, wrote in his 2003 book The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq:
"As I will explain over the course of this book [The Threatening Storm], I believe that the last option, a full-scale invasion, has unfortunately become our best option-or at least our 'least bad' option. To understand these different courses of action, to explain why I believe an invasion is the United States' best course, and to help the reader make up his or her own mind, this book is organized into three parts. The first part presents a brief description of Iraqi history and U.S. involvement in the Persian Gulf, a short biographical sketch of Saddam Hussein, and the history of U.S.-Iraqi relations since 1979. The second part provides an overview of Iraq today, the nature of Saddam's totalitarianism, the threat that Iraq presents to the region and the United States, and a summary of how the different states of the Middle East see Iraq. The final part of the book then assesses each of the policy options in turn, drawing on the background provided in Parts I and II to explain the benefits and liabilities of each." 

2003 - Kenneth M. Pollack, PhD 

Joe Lieberman, LLB, US Senator (D-CT) at the time of the quote, in a Sep. 13, 2002 speech on the floor of the US Senate, stated:
"Mr. President, for more than eleven years now, since the early spring of 1991, I have supported the use of military force to disarm Iraq and to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In fact, since the Iraq Liberation Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1998, that has been the law of our land. Therefore, I am fully supportive of such military action now." 

Sep. 13, 2002 - Joe Lieberman, LLB 

Joshua Muravchik, PhD, Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics, wrote in a Mar. 1, 2003 American Enterprise Institute Online article titled "We Are Better Off Without That UN Resolution":
"By going to war without Security Council approval, the United States has avoided perpetuating the misguided idea that council authorization is necessary for the legitimate use of force abroad. American power has done much more to preserve peace than the Security Council, and thus subordinating the former to the latter would be a dangerous mistake. Instead, in order to alleviate fears about American power, Washington should stress its commitment to international law, of which the Security Council is only one part."

Mar. 1, 2003 - Joshua Muravchik, PhD 

Robert Kagan, PhD, Co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, in a Feb. 27, 2004 article titled "The Right War for the Right Reasons" on the Project for the New American Century website, wrote:
"It is fashionable to sneer at the moral case for liberating an Iraqi people long brutalized by Saddam's rule. Critics insist mere oppression was not sufficient reason for war, and in any case that it was not Bush's reason. In fact, of course, it was one of Bush's reasons, and the moral and humanitarian purpose provided a compelling reason for a war to remove Saddam."

Feb. 27, 2004 - Robert Kagan, PhD 

Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor of Human Events, wrote in a Sep. 20, 2002 article titled "How Saddam Tried to Kill Bush I" on Human Events Online:
"If behavior is indeed the test, Americans must now weigh what Saddam’s attempt to kill President [George H.W.] Bush says about his ability to be deterred. The strongest argument against removing Saddam by force is that he has already been deterred and contained by U.S. military in the region, and that the potential unintended consequences of removing him via war are a greater threat to U.S. security than leaving him, deterred and contained, in power.

What Saddam demonstrated in 1993—with the unwitting collaboration of Bill Clinton—is that when he confronts a U.S. President he sees as weak and inconsistent he is fully capable of reckless and murderous acts that justly can be construed as cause for war."


Sep. 20, 2002 - Terence P. Jeffrey 

Jack Spencer, MA, Research Fellow in Nuclear Energy at the Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, wrote in "Are We Safer Today Than Before 9/11?" a Heritage Foundation website article dated Sep. 10, 2003:
"On September 11, 2001 the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, and Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq. Today, neither is in power, and the United States is a safer place for that reason... [T]he president’s willingness to wage full-scale war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq...is a deterrent that will help compel future states not to directly or indirectly support violence against the United States or its interests."

Sep. 10, 2003 - Jack Spencer, MA 

Max Boot, MA, Senior Fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in a July 20, 2003 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article titled "Postwar Iraq":
"... Based on the same precautionary principle, the administration bombed Iraq a few months later, even though there was no hard proof that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. And they were perfectly right to do so. Just as Bush was right to finally end Hussein's nightmarish reign."

July 20, 2003 - Max Boot, MA 

Christopher Hitchens, Contributing Editor for Atlantic Monthly and Vanity Fair, stated in a Jan. 29, 2003 debate with Mark Danner, Professor at the University fo California, Berkeley, titled "How Should We Use Our Power":
"The president will give an order. [The attack] will be rapid, accurate and dazzling ... It will be greeted by the majority of the Iraqi people as an emancipation. And I say, bring it on."

Jan. 29, 2003 - Christopher Hitchens 

Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq at the time of the quote, stated in a Feb. 26, 2003 interview with Dan Rather on CBS News:
"We hope that the attack will not take place. But we are bracing ourselves to meet such an attack, to face it…Even though, God Almighty invites us…and we hope that -- we pray to him that -- the Americans will refrain from such an eventuality -- to avoid both the Americans -- to spare the Americans from committing such a mistake -- and also to spare Iraq and the Iraqi people from being involved in such an experience. And those who would like to ride the bandwagon of evil, it's up to them."

Feb. 26, 2003 - Saddam Hussein  

Barack Obama, State Senator (D-IL) at the time of the quote, in a July 25, 2004 interview on Meet the Press, stated:
"I would have voted not to authorize the president to go to war given the facts as I saw them at that time."

July 25, 2004 - Barack Obama, JD 

Jimmy Carter, 39th US President, in a Sep. 5, 2002 article titled "The Troubling New Face of America," in the Washington Post, wrote:
"We cannot ignore the development of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, but a unilateral war with Iraq is not the answer. There is an urgent need for U.N. action to force unrestricted inspection in Iraq. But perhaps deliberately so, this has become less likely as we alienate our necessary allies.

We have thrown down counterproductive gauntlets to the rest of the world, disavowing U.S. commitments to laboriously negotiated international accords.

Peremptory rejections of nuclear arms agreements, the biological weapons convention, environmental protection, anti-torture proposals, and punishment of war criminals have sometimes been combined with economic threats against those who might disagree with us. These unilateral acts and assertions increasingly isolate the United States from the very nations needed to join in combating terrorism."


Sep. 5, 2002 - Jimmy Carter 

Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, made the following statement on an Oct. 12, 2004 segment of NBC Nightly News:

"I think [the Iraq war] was a mistake. This is a blow struck at international law, at the United Nations, at relations and alliance and partnership between the United States and other countries. And, of course, public opinion was ignored.

Unilateral action, on the part of any country, and even a country like the United States, the most powerful country, is just not enough for security. In a global world, where all problems -- terrorism, the environment and all the other problems effect all of us -- security can only be common security, universal security."


Oct. 12, 2004 - Mikhail Gorbachev 

George A. Lopez, PhD, Director of Policy Studies, and David Cortright, PhD, Research Fellow, both at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, cowrote the following in a July/Aug. 2004 Foreign Affairs article titled "Containing Iraq: Sanctions Worked":

"Having failed to understand how sanctions and inspections worked in Iraq, the United States risks repeating its mistake in the future. The crisis of intelligence that pundits and politicians should be considering is not why so many officials overestimated what was wrong in Iraq; it is why they ignored so much readily available evidence of what was right about existing policies.

By disregarding the success of inspections and sanctions, Washington discarded an effective system of containment and deterrence and, on the basis of faulty intelligence and wrong assumptions, launched a preventive war in its place."


July/Aug. 2004 - George A. Lopez, PhD 
David Cortright, PhD 

Charles V. Peña, MA, Director of Defense Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, in a Dec. 15, 2003 Cato Institute Policy Analysis titled "Iraq: The Wrong War," wrote:
"In the final analysis, the war against Iraq was the wrong war. Not because the United States used preemptive military force—preemptive self-defense would have been justified in the face of a truly imminent threat. Not because the United States acted without the consent of the United Nations—no country should surrender its defense to a vote of other nations. And not because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—none has been discovered and, even if they existed, they were not a threat.

The war against Iraq was the wrong war because the enemy at the gates was, and continues to be, Al Qaeda. Not only was Iraq not a direct military threat to the United States (even if it possessed WMD, which was a fair assumption), but there is no good evidence to support the claim that Saddam Hussein was in league with Al Qaeda and would have given the group WMD to be used against the United States."


Dec. 15, 2003 - Charles Peña, MA 

Mohamed ElBaradei, JSD, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in an Oct. 22, 2002 interview on BBC HARDtalk titled "Iraq: Weapons Inspectors the Key," stated:
"I find it a dangerous precedent that you will go and use military force every time you suspect a country is developing weapons of mass destruction. That should not be our first option, it should be our last resort."

Oct. 22, 2002 - Mohamed ElBaradei, JSD 

Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY) at the time of the quote, wrote in a Nov. 29, 2005 "Letter to Constitutents on Iraq Policy" on her US Senate website:
"Based on the information that we have today, Congress never would have been asked to give the President authority to use force against Iraq.

And if Congress had been asked, based on what we know now, we never would have agreed, given the lack of a long-term plan, paltry international support, the proven absence of weapons of mass destruction, and the reallocation of troops and resources that might have been used in Afghanistan to eliminate Bin Laden and al Qaeda, and fully uproot the Taliban."

Nov. 29, 2005 - Hillary Clinton, JD 

Hazim al-Araji, Senior Aide and Spokeman for Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, was quoted in an article titled "Iraqis Stage Anti-US Demonstration" on the "Middle East Online" website (accessed Dec. 10, 2008):
"Some Iraqis speak of liberation but most consider that it is an invasion and we are against this occupation...What have the Iraqis gained from this occupation..."

Dec. 10, 2008 - Hazim al-Araji 

Robin Cook , MA, Foreign Secretary of the UK at the time of the quote, stated in his Mar. 17, 2003 resignation to the UK House of Parliament:
"On Iraq, I believe that the prevailing mood of the British people is sound. They do not doubt that Saddam is a brutal dictator, but they are not persuaded that he is a clear and present danger to Britain. They want inspections to be given a chance, and they suspect that they are being pushed too quickly into conflict by a US Administration with an agenda of its own. Above all, they are uneasy at Britain going out on a limb on a military adventure without a broader international coalition and against the hostility of many of our traditional allies...

It has been a favourite theme of commentators that this House no longer occupies a central role in British politics. Nothing could better demonstrate that they are wrong than for this House to stop the commitment of troops in a war that has neither international agreement nor domestic support. I intend to join those tomorrow night who will vote against military action now. It is for that reason, and for that reason alone, and with a heavy heart, that I resign from the Government."


Mar. 17, 2003 - Robin Cook , MA 

James K. Galbraith, PhD, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, wrote in an Apr. 26, 2004 Los Angeles Times article titled "War in Iraq Aims a Bullet at the Heart of the Economy":
"...Iraq isn't going to be like World War II. Economically, the Iraq war is more like Vietnam: insidiously underestimated, sold to the public and Congress on false premises, improperly budgeted and inadequately taxed. During the Vietnam years, there was also economic growth at first. But then came creeping inflation, followed by worldwide commodity shocks, the oil crisis of 1973, international monetary disorder and a decade of economic troubles. Could it happen again? Yes, it could. Did Team Bush think through the economics of a long and costly war? There is no evidence it did."

Apr. 26, 2004 - James K. Galbraith, PhD 

William D. Nordhaus, PhD, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, in an Oct. 29, 2002 paper titled "The Economic Consequences of a War with Iraq" on the Yale University website, wrote:
"In contrast to the clear danger from terrorist activities, there is no imminent threat from Iraq... The administration concentrates on Iraq, while slow growth, fiscal deficits, a crisis of corporate governance, and growing health-care problems threaten the economy at home. The domestic economy and the rest of the world will take a back seat as the U.S. deals with war and peace in Iraq."

Oct. 29, 2002 - William D. Nordhaus, PhD 

Richard Clarke, former Special Advisor to the US National Security Council, is quoted from a Sep. 8, 2004 campus symposium by the UC Berkeley News in an article titled "'Who's Going to Believe Us?' Richard Clarke Faults Bush Team's Post-9/11 Policies":
"What we have done with the invasion of Iraq is that [al Qaeda has] a lot more recruits now, and they're a lot more militant than before the invasion...The pool of people who really hate us is so much greater than it was on 9/11 because of this needless and counterproductive war in Iraq... The president kept saying Iraq was the central front in the war against terrorism — well, it is now."

Sep. 8, 2004 - Richard Clarke 

Stephen Schlesinger, JD, Adjunct Fellow at the Century Foundation, wrote in an Aug. 23, 2007 article titled "Iraq Is a Loser" on MaximsNews.com:
"America cannot base its national security decisions on romantic fantasies but on realities -- and the truth is that the US is embedded in an intervention it should never have undertaken, caught up in a civil war that it cannot settle or stop, and, most importantly, has lost the support of the only constituency that counts -- the American people."

Aug. 23, 2007 - Stephen Schlesinger, JD 

Ehren Watada, former First Lieutenant in the US Army and the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq, in a prepared statement recorded on June 6, 2006 available at the "Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada" website, stated:
"I stand before you today because it is my job to serve and protect America's soldiers, its people and innocent Iraqis who have no voice. It is my conclusion, as an officer of the armed forces, that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong, but a horrible breach of American law."

June 6, 2006 - Ehren Watada 

Scott McClellan, former White House Press Secretary, in his 2008 book titled What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, wrote:
"History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided - that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact. What I do know is that war should be waged when necessary, and the Iraq War was not. Waging an unnecessary war is a grave mistake. But in reflecting on all that happened during the Bush administration, I've come to believe that an even more fundamental mistake was made - a decision to turn away from candor and honesty when those qualities were most needed." 

2008 - Scott McClellan 

Brent Scowcroft, PhD, former US National Security Advisor, wrote in an Aug. 15, 2002 article titled "Don't Attack Saddam" on Wall Street Journal Online:
"Our pre-eminent security priority--underscored repeatedly by the president--is the war on terrorism. An attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardize, if not destroy, the global counterterrorist campaign we have undertaken...

But the central point is that any campaign against Iraq, whatever the strategy, cost and risks, is certain to divert us for some indefinite period from our war on terrorism... The most serious cost, however, would be to the war on terrorism. Ignoring that clear sentiment would result in a serious degradation in international cooperation with us against terrorism. And make no mistake, we simply cannot win that war without enthusiastic international cooperation, especially on intelligence."


Aug. 15, 2002 - Brent Scowcroft, PhD 

Patrick Leahy, JD, US Senator (D-VT), stated in a page titled "Iraq and Afghanistan" on his US Senate website (accessed Jan. 16, 2009):
"In 2002, I voted against the resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. In the years that have followed, I have been outspoken about the exaggerated and misleading statements of the Administration that led to military action in Iraq. The misguided and politically motivated decision of this Administration diverted attention and resources away from the fight against al Qaeda, and our objective of seeking out those who planned the September 11 terrorist attacks."

Jan. 16, 2009 - Patrick Leahy, JD 

Katja Ziegler, Lecturer in Law and DAAD Fellow and Deputy Director at the Institute for European and Comparative Law at Oxford University, is one of 16 European law professors who cowrote a Mar. 7, 2003 article titled "War Would Be Illegal" in the Guardian:
"There is no justification under international law for the use of military force against Iraq. The UN charter outlaws the use of force with only two exceptions: individual or collective self-defence in response to an armed attack and action authorised by the security council as a collective response to a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. There are currently no grounds for a claim to use such force in self-defence. The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence against an attack that might arise at some hypothetical future time has no basis in international law."

Mar. 7, 2003 - Katja Ziegler 

Human Rights Watch (HRW) wrote in "War in Iraq: Not a Humanitarian Intervention," a Jan. 2004 article on its website:
"Human Rights Watch ordinarily takes no position on whether a state should go to war. The issues involved usually extend beyond our mandate, and a position of neutrality maximizes our ability to press all parties to a conflict to avoid harming noncombatants. The sole exception we make is in extreme situations requiring humanitarian intervention... [N]ow that the war’s proponents are relying so significantly on a humanitarian rationale for the war, the need to assess this claim has grown in importance. We conclude that, despite the horrors of Saddam Hussein’s rule, the invasion of Iraq cannot be justified as a humanitarian intervention." 

Jan. 2004 - Human Rights Watch (HRW) 

Leon E. Panetta, JD, former member of the Iraq Study Group, in a Sep. 12, 2004 Monterey County Herald article titled "The Price Of Truth," wrote:
"FACT: The Iraq War has turned into a deadly quagmire that is killing Americans on an average of two a day and there is no clearly defined mission about the length and level of commitment, the cost or the future of U.S. involvement... Does anyone really believe that we would have charged into war knowing that there were absolutely no weapons of mass destruction and no ties to al Qaeda; that we would have spent $200 billion and nearly a thousand of our most precious American lives just because Saddam Hussein was a bad dictator … something that happens to be true about most dictators in the world."

Sep. 12, 2004 - Leon E. Panetta, JD 

Harold Hongju Koh, JD, MA, Dean and Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, in an Oct. 20, 2002 article titled "A Better Way To Deal With Iraq" in the Hartford Courant, wrote:
"First, I do not believe that such an attack would make the world or America safer... Second, I believe such an attack would violate international law... Third, I believe there are better uses right now for our troops... Fourth, I believe that there are better uses for our money... Fifth and finally, I do not believe that unilateral pre-emptive attack is what this country stands for."

Oct. 20, 2002 - Harold Hongju Koh, JD 

Joseph Cirincione, MS, Senior Vice President of National Security and International Affairs at the Center for American Progress, in "Two Terrifying Reports: The US Senate and the 9/11 Commissionon Intelligence Failures Before September 11 and the Iraq War," a July/Aug. 2004 Disarmament Diplomacy article, wrote:
"In the last three years, the United States of America suffered the two worst intelligence failures in its history... [t]he Iraq War and the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon... The two reports from the US Senate Committee on Intelligence and the 9/11 Commission show that both were preventable. Wiser policies, wiser leaders and wiser choices would have shown the war in Iraq to be unnecessary and could likely have blocked al Qaeda's airplane hijackings." 

July/Aug. 2004 - Joseph Cirincione, MS 

Eric S. Margolis, a journalist and political commentator, wrote in an Oct. 7, 2002 article titled "Iraq Invasion: The Road to Folly" in The American Conservative:

"Lust for destruction is not policy, no matter how much Pentagon hawks and neoconservative media trumpets may yearn to plow salt into the fields of Iraq. Nor is the piratical proposal that the U.S. 'liberate' Iraq and plunder its great oil reserves to bring 'civilization and democracy' to that benighted nation...

The first question, of course, is why should the U.S. attack and invade Iraq, a nation that has not committed any act of war against America? The rest of the world will rightly see such an act as naked aggression, a return to British and Soviet-style imperialism, and a personal vendetta by George Bush against Saddam Hussein... There is simply no political benefit for the United States in invading Iraq."


Oct. 7, 2002 - Eric S. Margolis 

The Research Unit for Political Economy (RUPE), a registered public trust of India, wrote in a Dec. 2002 article titled "A Summary: Behind the Invasion of Iraq" in Aspects of India's Economy:
"Now, however, we are about to witness a major new development, with far-reaching consequences: the direct imperialist occupation of the whole of Iraq. Further, it is widely reported in the American press that the United States plans to use the invasion of Iraq as a launching pad for a drastic re-shaping of West Asia. The Bush administration is actively considering invading various countries and replacing regimes in the entire region—Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Lebanon are among the countries to be targeted. This is to be accompanied by Israel carrying out some form of ‘final solution’ to the Palestinian question—whether in the form of mass eviction or colonisation.

The justifications US imperialism is advancing for the impending assault on Iraq are absurd, often contradictory. Unlike in the case of the 1991 Gulf War or the 2001 bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, this time the US lacks even the fig-leaf of an excuse for its aggression."

Dec. 2002 - Research Unit for Political Economy (RUPE)  

Anthony Zinni, MA, retired Four Star General in the US Marine Corps, stated in an Aug. 23, 2002 speech before the Florida Economic Club:

"Attacking Iraq now will cause a lot of problems...

The Middle East peace process, in my mind, has to be a higher priority. Winning the war on terrorism has to be a higher priority. More directly, the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Central Asia need to be resolved, making sure Al Qaeda can't rise again from the ashes that are destroyed...

The country that started this, Iran, is about to turn around, 180 degrees. We ought to be focused on that. The father of extremism, the home of the ayatollah -- the young people are ready to throw out the mullahs and turn around, become a secular society and throw off these ideas of extremism. That is more important and critical. They're the ones that funded Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. That ought to be a focus. And I can give you many, many more before you get down to Saddam and Iraq."


Aug. 23, 2002 - Anthony Zinni, MA 

Peter W. Singer, PhD, Senior Fellow and Foreign Policy Studies Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, wrote in a Mar. 19, 2002 Baltimore Sun article titled "Iraq Can Wait Till Phase 1 Is Done":
"Until we finish the job given to us by Sept. 11, any talk of taking on Iraq is premature... Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator, lacking in any redeeming qualities, other than that no good evidence so far links him to the attacks of Sept. 11. Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization plotted the deaths of my friends and 3,000 other Americans. There is no question at whom all our focus and energy should be directed."

Mar. 19, 2002 - Peter W. Singer, PhD 

Seumas Milne, Comment Editor for The Guardian, wrote in an article titled "Iraq Has Now Become the Crucible of Global Politics" in The Guardian dated Sep. 25, 2003:
"Six months after the launch of the invasion, it has become ever clearer that the war was not only a crime of aggression, but a gigantic political blunder for those who ordered it and who are only now beginning to grasp the scale of the political price they may have to pay."

Sep. 25, 2003 - Seumas Milne 

Patrick Cockburn, Iraq Correspondent for The Independent, wrote the following in a Sep. 16, 2003 article titled "The Iraq Wreck" on the "Counterpunch" website:

"It is a failure of historic proportions. The aim of the war in Iraq was to establish the US as the world super power which could act unilaterally, virtually without allies inside or outside Iraq. The timing of the conflict had nothing to do with fear of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and everything to do with getting the war won in time for the run up to next year's Presidential election in the US...

I was in Washington as a visiting fellow at a think tank for the first six weeks of the year before having to leave suddenly to take advantage of a fleeting opportunity to get into Iraq before the start of the war. I was continually struck by the ignorance and extraordinary arrogance of the neo-cons, then at the height of their power. They had all the intolerant instincts of a weird American religious cult, impervious to any criticism of their fantasy picture of Iraq, the Middle East and the rest of the world."


Sep. 16, 2003 - Patrick Cockburn 

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