Why Did the Iraq War Start? The Untold Story - Seymour Hersh - Reasons, Justification (2005)
In the days immediately following 9/11, the Bush Administration national security team actively debated an invasion of Iraq. A memo written by Sec. Rumsfeld dated Nov 27, 2001 considers a US-Iraq war. One section of the memo questions "How start?", listing multiple possible justifications for a US-Iraq War.
During 2002 the amount of ordnance used by British and American aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones of Iraq increased compared to the previous years and by August had "become a full air offensive". Tommy Franks, the allied commander, later stated that the bombing was designed to "degrade" the Iraqi air defense system before an invasion.
In October 2002, a few days before the U.S. Senate voted on the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, about 75 senators were told in closed session that Iraq had the means of attacking the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. with biological or chemical weapons delivered by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs.) On 5 February 2003, Colin Powell presented further evidence in his Iraqi WMD program presentation to the UN Security Council that UAVs were ready to be launched against the United States. At the time, there was a vigorous dispute within the U.S. military and intelligence communities as to whether CIA conclusions about Iraqi UAVs were accurate and other intelligence agencies suggested that Iraq did not possess any offensive UAV capability, saying the few they had were designed for surveillance and intended for reconnaissance. The Senate voted to approve the Joint Resolution with the support of large bipartisan majorities on 11 October 2002, providing the Bush administration with a legal basis for the U.S. invasion under U.S. law.
The resolution granted the authorization by the Constitution of the United States and the United States Congress for the President to command the military to fight anti-United States violence. Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement. The authorization was signed by President George W. Bush on 16 October 2002.
Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix remarked in January 2003 that "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance—not even today—of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace." Among other things he noted that 1,000 short tons (910 t) of chemical agent were unaccounted for, information on Iraq's VX nerve agent program was missing, and that "no convincing evidence" was presented for the destruction of 8,500 litres (1,900 imp gal; 2,200 US gal) of anthrax that had been declared.
In the 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush said "we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs". On 5 February 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared before the UN to present American evidence that Iraq was hiding unconventional weapons. The French government also believed that Saddam had stockpiles of anthrax and botulism toxin, and the ability to produce VX. In March, Blix said progress had been made in inspections, and no evidence of WMD had been found. Iraqi scientist Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi codenamed "Curveball", admitted in February 2011, that he lied to the CIA about biological weapons in order to get the US to attack and remove Hussein from power.
In early 2003, the U.S., British, and Spanish governments proposed the so-called "eighteenth resolution" to give Iraq a deadline for compliance with previous resolutions enforced by the threat of military action. This proposed resolution was subsequently withdrawn due to lack of support on the UN Security Council. In particular, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members France, Germany and Canada and non-NATO member Russia were opposed to military intervention in Iraq, due to the high level of risk to the international community's security, and defended disarmament through diplomacy.
Video runtime: 01:22:51
Author: The Film Archives