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Key Events

Key events related to DSM (56)

General Topic Areas

Alleged al-Qaeda ties (83)
Politicization of intelligence (80)
Pre-9/11 plans for war (34)
Weapons inspections (122)
Alleged WMDs (99)
The decision to invade (104)
Internal opposition (29)
Motives (53)
Pre-war planning (30)
Predictions (19)
Legal justification (96)
Propaganda (23)
Public opinion on Iraqi threat (13)
Diversion of Resources to Iraq (8)
Pre-war attacks against Iraq (18)

Specific Allegations

Aluminum tubes allegation (59)
Office of Special Plans (24)
Africa-uranium allegation (95)
Prague Connection (24)
Al Zarqawi allegation (10)
Poisons And Gases (5)
Drones (4)
Biological weapons trailers (18)

Specific cases and issues

Spying on the UN (8)
Outing of Jose Bustani (13)
Powells Speech to UN (13)
Chalabi and the INC (63)

Quotes from senior US officials

Chemical and biological weapons allegations (23)
Imminent threat allegations (5)
Iraq ties to terrorist allegations (15)
Nuclear weapons allegations (29)
WMD allegations (9)
Democracy rhetoric
Decision to Invade quotes (16)
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Events leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq: Rhetoric about democracy - quotes

 
  

Project: Inquiry into the decision to invade Iraq

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Mid-November 2002

       In an Interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz suggests, “If you're looking for a historical analogy, it's probably closer to post-liberation France [after World War II].” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/17/2002]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

July 10, 2002

       President George Bush says in a speech at the Cincinnati Museum Center: “Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse, for world security and for the people of Iraq.” [White House, 7/10/02]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

February 23, 2003

       At a town hall meeting with Iraqi-Americans in Dearborn, Michigan, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, explains: “First-and this is really the overarching principle-the United States seeks to liberate Iraq, not occupy Iraq.... If the president should decide to use force, let me assure you again that the United States would be committed to liberating the people of Iraq, not becoming an occupation force.” [US Department of Defense, 2/23/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

March 26, 2003

       In a speech to US troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, US President George Bush says: “We will help the Iraqi people to find the benefits and assume the duties of self-government. The form of those institutions will arise from Iraq's own culture and its own choices.” [White House, 3/26/03]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

March 26, 2003

       US Secretary of State Colin Powell tells India's Doordarshan TV: “But as soon as possible, we want to have working alongside the commander an interim Iraqi authority, people representing the people of Iraq. And, as that authority grows and gets greater credibility from the people of Iraq, we want to turn over more and more responsibilities to them.” [US Department of State, 3/26/03]
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell
          

April 1, 2003

       In an interview with CBS' “60 Minutes,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz says that the administration intends for Iraq to become a democracy. “The goal is an Iraq that stands on its own feet and that governs itself in freedom and in unity and with respect for the rights of all its citizens,” he says. “We'd like to get to that goal as quickly as possible.” [US Department of Defense, 4/1/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

April 2, 2003

       During a joint conference with Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic, US Secretary of State Colin Powell says, “I can assure you that we all want to end this as soon as possible, so we can get on with the task of allowing the Iraqi people to form a new government.” [US Department of State, 4/2/03]
People and organizations involved: Zoran Zivkovic, Colin Powell
          

April 4, 2003

       National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice tells reporters, “We will leave Iraq completely in the hands of Iraqis as quickly as possible.” [US Department of State, 4/4/03]
People and organizations involved: Condoleezza Rice
          

April 6, 2003

       Appearing on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz says, “We come as an army of liberation, and we want to see the Iraqis running their own affairs as soon as they can.” [US Department of Defense, 4/6/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

April 10, 2003

       Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz tells the Senate Armed Services Committee: “We want to see a situation where power and responsibility is transferred as quickly as possible to the Iraqis themselves, with as much international assistance as possible ... We have no desire to occupy Iraq ...” [US Department of Defense, 4/10/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

April 13, 2003

       Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says on NBC's “Meet the Press”: “The task is to create an environment that is sufficiently permissive that the Iraqi people can fashion a new government. And what they will do is come together in one way or another and select an interim authority of some kind. Then that group will propose a constitution and a more permanent authority of some kind. And over some period of months, the Iraqis will have their government selected by Iraqi people.” [US Department of Defense, 4/13/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

April 13, 2003

       Appearing on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, says: “After (Gen. Jay Garner) finishes his job of restoring basic services, the interim Iraqi authority will be established. And that interim authority will be an authority of Iraqis, chosen by Iraqis. And it will be able to function as an authority in the country immediately after Gen. Garner's job is finished, which should be only a few weeks.” [US Department of Defense, 4/13/03]
People and organizations involved: Jay Garner, Ahmed Chalabi
          

April 13, 2003

       General Tommy Franks tells NBC's “Meet the Press”: “I think what we are so proud of is governments which permit their populace to be involved in a process that provides them freedom, provides them liberty. And I think what we will see in the months and years ahead in Iraq will provide a bit of a model for how that can be done. ... because, Tony, it will be the Iraqi people who decide how to do that, and they will do it on their terms.” [US Department of Defense, 4/13/03]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Franks
          

April 16, 2003

       Undersecretary for Political Affairs Marc Grossman says in an interview with Free Iraqi Television: “Soon Iraqis will be able to give us guidance about how to move forward and create an Iraqi interim authority. And that authority will begin to allow Iraqis to have sovereignty over their country and in a way that Iraqis will choose; they will create an Iraqi Government.” [US Department of State, 4/16/03]
People and organizations involved: Marc Grossman
          

April 17, 2003

       White House envoy to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad writes in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal: “The coalition supports the formation, as soon as possible, of the Iraqi Interim Authority—a transitional administration, run by Iraqis, until a government is established by the people of Iraq through elections. The Interim Authority should be broad-based and fully representative.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/17/03]
People and organizations involved: Project for the New American Century
          

April 21, 2003

       Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, director of the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, tells reporters: “The new ruler of Iraq is going to be an Iraqi. I don't rule anything.” [US Department of Defense, 4/21/03]
People and organizations involved: Jay Garner
          

April 24, 2003

       Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, director of the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, says during a discussion with about 60 selected Iraqi technocrats and academics: “I think you'll begin to see the governmental process start next week, by the end of next week. It will have Iraqi faces on it. It will be governed by the Iraqis.” [BBC, 4/24/03; Washington Post, 4/24/03]
People and organizations involved: Jay Garner
          

April 24, 2003

       US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells the Associated Press, “If you're suggesting, how would we feel about an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything in the country, the answer is: That isn't going to happen.” [Asssociated Press, 4/25/03; The Guardian, 4/25/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

April 28, 2003

       US President George Bush, in discussion on the future of Iraq at the Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan, says: “As freedom takes hold in Iraq, the Iraqi people will choose their own leaders and their own government. America has no intention of imposing our form of government or our culture. Yet, we will ensure that all Iraqis have a voice in the new government.” [White House, 4/28/03]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

May 5, 2003

       Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, director of the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, tells reporters in Baghdad, “By the middle of (this) month, you'll really see a beginning of a nucleus of an Iraqi government with an Iraqi face on it that is dealing with the coalition.” [BBC, 5/5/03; CNN, 5/5/03]
People and organizations involved: Jay Garner
          

May 9, 2003

       US President George Bush, in a commencement address at the University of South Carolina, says: “Soon, Iraqis from every ethnic group will choose members of an interim authority. The people of Iraq are building a free society from the ground up, and they are able to do so because the dictator and his regime are no more.” [White House, 5/9/03]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

May 18, 2003

       In Mosul, US administrator for Iraq Paul Bremer complains to reporters: “I've read a report in the American press about a delay (in the transitional authority). I don't know where these stories are coming from because we haven't delayed anything.” [Washington Times, 5/20/03; Straits Times, 5/19/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Bremer
          

May 21, 2003

       US administrator for Iraq Paul Bremer tells reporters, “I would think we are talking about more like sometime in July to get a national conference put together.” [Radio Free Europe, 5/21/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Bremer
          

May 27, 2003

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld writes in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal: “As Thomas Jefferson put it, ‘we are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.’ It took time and patience, but eventually our Founders got it right—and we hope so will the people of Iraq—over time.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/27/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 27, 2003

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tells the Council on Foreign Relations in New York: “While our goal is to put functional and political authority in the hands of Iraqis as soon as possible, the Coalition Provisional Authority has the responsibility to fill the vacuum of power . . . by asserting temporary authority over the country. The coalition will do so. It will not tolerate self-appointed ‘leaders.’” [US Department of Defense, 5/27/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

May 29, 2003

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says in a “Town Hall meeting” with Infinity Radio: “[When asked: When do you think there might be a government in place, even a provisional government in place in Iraq? Rumsfeld reponds:] I don't know.” [Department of Defense, 5/29/03]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld
          

(Late May 2003)

       Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, complains about the US occupation of Iraq that he played a pivotal role in bringing about. “They told us, ‘Liberation now,’ and then they made it occupation,” he says. “Bush said he was a liberator, not an occupier, and we supported the United States on this basis.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/29/03]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Chalabi
          

Early June 2003

       Isam Khafaji, an Iraqi exile who returned to Iraq to serve on the Defense Department's Iraq Reconstruction and Development Council, complains to the Washington Post: “Our role is very limited. We're not allowed to make any decisions.” [Washington Post 6/7/2003 cited in Islamonline, 6/8/03]
People and organizations involved: Isam Khafaji
          

Early June 2003

       Hamid Bayati, spokesperson for the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, tells the Washington Post: “If (Bremer) is going to appoint an administration, we can't be part of that. We will only be part of an administration selected by the Iraqi people. There are certain lines which we cannot cross.” [Washington Post 6/7/2003 cited in Islamonline, 6/8/03]
People and organizations involved: Hamid Bayati
          

June 17, 2003

       Abu Adel, a senior tribal leader in Ramadi, Iraq, tells the Associated Press: “We are a proud people and we will not accept this humiliation. The Americans should beware the wrath of the Iraqi people.” [Associated Press, 6/18/03]
People and organizations involved: Abu Adel
          

June 18, 2003

       US administrator for Iraq Paul Bremer concedes in an interview with the Washington Post: “As long as we're here, we are the occupying power. It's a very ugly word, but it's true.” [Washington Post, 6/18/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Bremer
          

June 28, 2003

       Paul Bremer, the US administrator for Iraq, tells the Washington Post: “I'm not opposed to [self-rule], but I want to do it a way that takes care of our concerns ... In a postwar situation like this, if you start holding elections, the people who are rejectionists tend to win ... It's often the best-organized who win, and the best-organized right now are the former Baathists and to some extent the Islamists.” [Washington Post, 6/27/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Bremer
          

June 30, 2003

       In a BBC interview, US administrator for Iraq Paul Bremer says, “We are going to fight them and impose our will on them and we will capture or, if necessary, kill them until we have imposed law and order upon this country.” [Guardian, 6/30/03]
People and organizations involved: Paul Bremer
          


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