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Ch9-IraqInvasion2010

Ch9-IraqInvasion2010 - 9 The Invasion of Iraq 11 September...

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9 The Invasion of Iraq, 11 September 2001-1 May 2003
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President Bush and most members of his administration strongly believed that Saddam Hussein should be overthrown in order to protect American interests. The events of September 11 th and President Bush’s subsequent declaration of a “war on terror” provided an opportunity to advance this agenda. The “war on terror” was to be waged against any and all opponents who had “the will and the means to launch terrorist attacks like those of 11 September” (Tripp, 271). In December 2001, the US ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan, because this West Asian country harbored the al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for 9/11. That very month, the Department of Defense submitted a plan to invade Iraq and overthrow the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. 22
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After the quick victory in Afghanistan, plans to invade Iraq accelerated. In January 2002, President Bush gave his famous “Axis of Evil” speech, which identified Iran, North Korea and Iraq as other countries that threatened US security. President Bush and his advisors, however, drew particular attention to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, insisting that it was actively developing weapons of mass destruction. (It was an allegation that would be proven false in January 2004.) By summer 2002, the administration had a draft of plans for the invasion, and its members now focused attention on gaining the approval of Congressmen. Such approval was important since many members of the international community--particularly Russia, France, Germany and China--refused to endorse a war with Iraq. The Bush Doctrine emerged from the decisions of this time. Preemptive military action was one component of this foreign policy. Another was unilateralism, a term signifying that the US need not adhere to multilateral action whereby the international community acted in concert. The neoconservatives who hammered out this doctrine believed that military intervention was a means of protecting American interests and also of spreading American values, such as democracy and free markets. The policymakers holding a neoconservative ideology generally felt contempt for international institutions, thinking instead that the US must make the most of a unipolar world. 23
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Congress passed a Joint Congressional Resolution allowing for the use of force on 11 October 2002. The US would lead what the Bush administration deemed a “Coalition of the Willing,” which included the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Australia and Poland. Hussein, clearly unnerved by the growing din of war drums, allowed Hans Blix to inspect Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, though Blix’s UNMOVIC team found no evidence of such. As a result, they made generally positive reports on Iraq in the early part of 2003. Nevertheless, Colin Powell went before the UN in February 2003 in order to convince the international community that Iraq had such weapons, which would then make Hussein and his Baathist cohort a global threat.
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