The 2003 Invasion of Iraq
Post 9/11/01 Attacks on Nations
The 2003 U.S.-led attack on Iraq was inflicted on people already suffering from a decade of sanctions -- sanctions blamed for hundreds of thousands of infant deaths. Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, defended the sanctions in a now infamous statement in the 60 Minutes interview aired on May 12, 1996:
Madeleine Albright:I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it. 1
The selling of the 2003 invasion of Iraq began as early as the day of 9/11/01 when Richard Clark says Donald Rumsfeld urged President Bush to consider bombing Iraq. 2 Attention would shift to Afghanistan until the operations there were mostly wrapped up in mid-2002.
The main push began in the fall of 2002, when George W. Bush and Tony Blair used fictitious evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction to garner some public support for attack on Iraq. The U.S. went to war with a new doctrine of pre-emptive first strike, in defiance of international law and in contempt of the vast, worldwide demonstrations against attacking Iraq. Establishing the occupation took only weeks:
- March 20, 2003: U.S. begins attack, with "shock-and-awe" bombing of Baghdad targets.
- April 3, 2003: U.S. forces capture Saddam Hussein international airport, 10 miles from Baghdad.
- April 9, 2003: Baghdad falls.
- May 1, 2003: President Bush declares the U.S. victorious.
Since the U.S. declaration of victory, the occupation has been characterized by a steadily rising death toll. The following table merges data about US service member casualties from GlobalSecurity.org with data about Iraqi civilian deaths from guardian.co.uk . 3 4
|month||U.S. deaths||Iraqi civilian deaths|
2. Adviser: Rumsfeld wanted Iraq attack after 9/11, Associated Press, 3/20/04 [cached]
3. Timeline, CBC.ca, 12/24/04 [cached]
4. U.S. Casualties in Iraq, GlobalSecurity.org,
5. 'We Think the Price Is Worth It', FAIR.org, 12/01 [cached]