Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Iraq War Quotes in Photos


The aftermath of the Iraq War, which was led by the United States and supported by its close ally, the United Kingdom, is still visible in parts of the country twenty years later. The war, which lasted from 2003 to 2011, resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and left the country in a state of instability and sectarian conflict.

Looking back, some of the statements made by leaders at the time seem ironic today. In September 2002, then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair told the British House of Commons that claims of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction were true and that action to remove Saddam Hussein was imperative. He declared, “Of course, there is no doubt that Iraq, the region and the whole world would be better off without Saddam.”

The US entered the conflict with confidence, as evidenced by comments made by then-US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to CBS Radio Connect in November 2002. He stated, “The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days or five weeks or five months. But it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.”

However, the war dragged on as Iraqis fought against the occupation and sectarian tensions were exacerbated by the conditions. Nearly six years later, in December 2008, former US President George W. Bush told ABC’s World News program, “The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein.”

Here are some other notable quotes from the war on Iraq:

1. “We know where [the weapons of mass destruction] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” – Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003.

This statement proved to be false, as no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.

2. “Mission accomplished.” – A banner displayed on an aircraft carrier where President George W. Bush gave a speech on May 1, 2003.

This statement was made just over a month after the start of the war and was meant to signify the end of major combat operations. However, it proved premature as violence continued in Iraq for years to come.

3. “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.” – Former US Vice President Dick Cheney, June 20, 2005.

This statement was made two years after the start of the war and proved to be incorrect as violence continued in Iraq for several more years.

4. “We do not torture.” – Former US President George W. Bush, November 7, 2005.

This statement was made in response to allegations of torture by US forces in Iraq and other locations. However, subsequent investigations revealed that torture had indeed taken place.

5. “The surge has not worked.” – Then-Senator Barack Obama, September 2007.

This statement was made during Obama’s campaign for president and referred to a strategy implemented by President Bush to increase troop levels in Iraq. However, the surge did ultimately lead to a decrease in violence in Iraq.

The war on Iraq was a controversial and divisive conflict that left a lasting impact on the country and its people. While some leaders at the time believed that it was necessary to remove Saddam Hussein and his supposed weapons of mass destruction, others questioned the validity of these claims and the wisdom of going to war. Today, as we look back on this period in history, we can learn from the mistakes made and strive to prevent similar conflicts from occurring in the future.

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