Peace Matters index

in their own words



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- the devil in the detail
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countdown to war

George Bush, January 30 2002:
The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade.... This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilised world. States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.
George Bush, April 5 2002:
I made up my mind that Saddam needs to go.
Tony Blair, April 5 2002:
If necessary, the action should be military – and again, if necessary and justified, it should involve regime change.
George Bush, June 1 2002:
The war on terror will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act.
George Bush, September 17 2002:
For the sake of liberty and justice for all, the United Nations security council must act – must act in a way to hold this regime to account, must not be fooled, must be relevant to keep the peace. It’s time for the United Nations to determine whether or not they’ll be a force for good and peace, or an ineffective debating society.
Tony Blair, September 24 2002: (Foreword to the September dossier)
I am in no doubt that the threat is serious and current, that he has made progress on weapons of mass destruction, and that he has to be stopped. Saddam has used chemical weapons, not only against an enemy state but against his own people.... The document discloses that his military planning allows for some weapons of mass destruction to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them.
George Bush, October 7 2002:
While there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age together in one place. Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction are controlled by a murderous tyrant.... The attacks of September 11 showed that vast oceans no longer protect us from danger. Today in Iraq we see a threat whose consequences could be far more deadly. Saddam Hussein’s actions have put us on notice, and there is no refuge from our responsibilities.
Tony Blair, November 8 2002:
Conflict is not inevitable, but disarmament is.... Everyone now accepts that if there is a default by Saddam the international community must act to enforce its will.
Tony Blair, January 21 2003:
Do we really doubt that if these terrorists could get hold of these weapons of mass destruction that they would not use them? The most frightening thing is the coming together of fanaticism and technology capable of delivering mass destruction and mass death.
Tony Blair, February 3 2003:
I do not want to be the prime minister when people point the finger back from history and say: You knew those threats were there and you did nothing about it.
George Bush, February 8 2003:
We have seen intelligence over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they’re weaponised and that, at least in one case, the command and control arrangements have been established.
Tony Blair, February 14 2003:
Ridding the world of Saddam would be an act of humanity. It is leaving him there that is in truth inhumane. The moral case against war has a moral answer. It is the moral case for removing Saddam. It is not the reason we act. That must be according to the UN mandate on weapons of mass destruction. But it is the reason, frankly, why if we do have to act, we should do so with a clear conscience.... I want us to be a Government which has the intelligence, the vision and foresight to see that there is nothing inconsistent in saying that we will increase our aid to development and give hope to Africa, yet be prepared if necessary to fight to defend the values that we believe in.
George Bush, February 24 2003:
Is the UN going to be the body that means what it says? We certainly hope so. But one way or the other, Saddam Hussein, for the sake of peace and the security of the American people, will be disarmed.
George Bush, February 27 2003:
In Iraq a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilised world, and we will not allow it.... Acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world.
George Bush, March 6 2003:
If we need to act, we will act. We really don’t need the UN’s approval to act. When it comes to our own security we do not need anyone’s permission.
Tony Blair, March 7 2003:
Military action is to uphold the authority of the UN and to make sure Saddam is disarmed.
George Bush, March 16 2003:
We work towards a great cause, and that is peace and security in this world.... Saddam Hussein has proved he is capable of any crime. We must not permit his crimes to reach across the world.... Action to remove the threat from Iraq would also allow the Iraqi people to build a better society.... Iraq’s liberation would be the beginning, not the end, of our commitment to its people.... We hope the UN will do its job. If not, all of us need to sit back and try to figure out how to make the UN work better....
Tony Blair, March 16 2003:
Without a credible ultimatum authorising force in the event of non-compliance, then more discussion is just more delay with Saddam remaining armed with weapons of mass destruction and continuing a brutal, murderous regime in Iraq.
Tony Blair, March 18 2003:
We will stand up for what we know to be right, to show that we will confront the tyrannies and dictatorships and terrorists who put our way of life at risk, to show at the moment of decision that we have the courage to do the right thing.
George Bush, March 18 2003:
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraqi regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.... The danger is clear: using chemical, biological, or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfil their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any other.
George Bush, March 20 2003:
At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger.... We have no ambition in Iraq except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.
Tony Blair, March 20 2003:
Tonight, British servicemen and women are engaged from air land and sea. Their mission: to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.
George Bush, April 24 2003:
The regime of Saddam Hussein spent years hiding and disguising his’s going to take time to find them. But we know he has them. And whether he destroyed them, moved them, or hid them, we’re going to find out the truth.
Tony Blair, April 28 2003:
There was a six-month campaign of concealment of those weapons... Before people crow about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, I suggest they wait a little bit.
Paul Wolfowitz, May 2003:
The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with US governmental bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on – which was weapons of mass destruction – as the core reason. Criminal treatment of the Iraqi people is a reason to help the Iraqis, but it’s not a reason to put American kids’ lives at risk.
Donald Rumsfeld, May 28 2003:
It’s possible that they decided they would destroy them prior to a conflict.... It’s hard to find things in a country that’s determined not to have you find them. I suspect we’ll learn a lot more as we go along and keep interrogating people.
George Bush, May 29 2003:
We found the weapons of mass destruction, We found biological laboratories.... And we’ll find more. But for those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong. We found them.
Tony Blair, May 30 2003:
Evidence of weapons of mass destruction is evidence the truth of which I have absolutely no doubt at all. ...It’s not the most urgent priority now for us, since Saddam has gone. So you are going to have to have a little bit of patience. I have absolutely no doubt at all that when we present the full evidence, after we have investigated all the sites, that evidence will be found, and I have absolutely no doubt that it exists.
Lt-General James Conway, May 30 2003:
It was a surprise to me that we have not uncovered weapons in some of the forward dispersed sites. Believe me, it’s not for want of trying. We’ve been in virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad but they’re simply not there. We were simply wrong.
Senator John McCain, June 2 2003:
The day I saw 9- and 10-year old boys released from a prison, the day I saw the mass graves uncovered, it was ample testimony of the brutality of this regime. It was the day that I believe our liberation of Iraq was fully vindicated.






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