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:
Feb. 24, 2003 - International Crisis Group (ICG)
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":
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:
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?":
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:
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":
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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":
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:
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:
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:
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":
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":
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, 39
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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":
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":
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:
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:
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:
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:
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):
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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