The quotes that started the so-called Iraq “war”

March 20, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More

I refuse to use the term “war” when referring to the U.S. occupation of Iraq for these reasons.

Do you remember the many politicians and news media personalities who assured us that we needed to go to “war” with Iraq and that it would be easy, fast and relatively painless for American soldiers?   Well, Huffpo has put many of those quotes in one convenient place, breaking them into basic categories, such as:





Here are some key quotes from “How long will it last?”:

“Now, it isn’t gong to be over in 24 hours, but it isn’t going to be months either.”
– Richard Perle, Chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, 7/11/02

“The idea that it’s going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990. Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.”
– Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 11/15/02

“It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could be six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”
– Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 2/7/03

“It won’t take weeks… Our military machine will crush Iraq in a matter of days and there’s no question that it will.”
– Bill O’Reilly, 2/10/03

“There is zero question that this military campaign…will be reasonably short. … Like World War II for about five days.”
– General Barry R. McCaffrey, national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News, 2/18/03

“Our military superiority is so great — it’s far greater than it was in the Gulf War, and the Gulf War was over in 100 hours after we bombed for 43 days… Now they can bomb for a couple of days and then just roll into Baghdad… The odds are there’s going to be a war and it’s going to be not for very long.”
– Former President Bill Clinton, 3/6/03

“I think it will go relatively quickly…weeks rather than months.”
– Vice President Dick Cheney, 3/16/03

We must remember that these aren’t mere words.  Saying these sorts of words had consequences that many people still don’t seem to appreciate (given that many of the people who pushed a “war” with Iraq now want to start a “war” with Iran).   Glenn Greenwald wrote about this moral obtuseness of many of those people who led the charge to invade Iraq:

The most unadorned admissions of error amount to little more than a concession that they simply assessed the costs and benefits inaccurately. And even with that extremely narrow concession, none of them — either in Slate or elsewhere — even reference in passing the fact that the war they cheered on ended the lives of hundreds of thousands (at least) of innocent Iraqi citizens and caused the internal and external displacement of millions more. That just doesn’t exist in the calculus.

More strikingly, not a single one of them appears to have learned the real lesson worth learning from the whole disaster: The U.S. should not — and has no right to — invade, bomb and occupy other nations that haven’t attacked or even threatened to attack us. None of them say: “Wars that aren’t directly in response to an actual or imminent attack shouldn’t be commenced because doing so leads to the deaths of hundreds of thousands or millions of human beings for no justifiable reason.” Not even the most regretful war advocate seems to have reached that conclusion.


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Category: Iraq, Military, Politics, Quotes, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    To be fair, it was only weeks between initiation and "Mission Accomplished".

    Unfortunately, we are still fighting almost 5 years later. We now have no effective national guard to help with their primary charter during tornadoes, floods and earthquakes because they are all sent over there.

    Few people choose to volunteer for a service that has no definite term of service, so all of the military branches are running very thin.

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