Global Policy Forum

The US Road to War

Picture Credit: DVIDS

The period from the end of the first Gulf War in 1991 to the beginning of the second Gulf war in 2003 saw continuous military pressure on Iraq by the United States and the United Kingdom. The US-UK launched major air strikes against Iraq on several occasions, as well as deploying threatening forces in Iraq's proximity and operating military air patrols to enforce "no-fly zones." In early 2002, the Bush administration announced that it considered Iraq to be part of an "axis of evil" and threats of a US-led war for "regime change" got steadily louder throughout the spring and summer. By September, it had become clear that Washington was planning a full-scale invasion, as it won authorization for military action from the US Congress. This section looks at the US road to war, including US efforts to win support from the United Nations and to obtain favorable resolutions in the UN Security Council.

Highlighted Documents


Latest Documents

See the latest drafts, documents and official statements related to the Iraq crisis.

US Bombing Watch

When was the last time the US bombed Iraq? This site reports daily on US-UK attacks on Iraq since 2000, mostly in "patrolling" the unilateral No-Fly Zones.


2004 | 2003 | 2002



US Aimed for Hussein as War Began (April 22, 2004)

The US-led coalition invaded Iraq in March 2003, officially to get rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Bob Woodward chronicles the initial stages of the US-led invasion of Iraq, including the initial attacks focused on Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi government. (Washington Post)

Blair Steady in Support (April 21, 2004)

Bob Woodward explores role of British Prime Minister Tony Blair in pressing the Bush administration to exhaust all diplomatic options before launching war, including seeking a UN resolution mandating the Iraq invasion. (Washington Post)

Cheney Was Unwavering in Desire to Go to War (April 20, 2004)

Since January, 2001 Vice President Richard Cheney viewed Iraq as a top priority for the new Bush administration, requesting special meetings with outgoing Defence Secretary William Cohen. Woodward contends that Cheney guided the administration's policy on Iraq, believing Cheney "harbored a deep sense of unfinished business about Iraq." (Washington Post)

With CIA Push, Movement to War Accelerated (April 19, 2004)

Bob Woodward focuses on the CIA's role in providing justification for war with Iraq. Woodward contends that the Bush administration diverted CIA resources used in the "war on terrorism" and the elimination of Al-Qaeda, to building a case against the Saddam Hussein regime and its "weapons of mass destruction" program. (Washington Post)

Behind Diplomatic Moves, Military Plan Was Launched (April 18, 2004)

Bob Woodward, author of "Plan of Attack," examines the events leading to the White House decision to invade Iraq since December 2001. Woodward chronicles the Bush administration's pre-war diplomacy efforts to build a coalition, focusing on negotiations with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. (Washington Post)



Iraq Said to Have Tried to Reach Last-Minute Deal to Avert War (November 6, 2003)

The New York Times reports that the pre-war Iraqi government seemed ready to allow unilateral US inspections to verify the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. According to Pentagon advisor Richard Perle, the CIA nixed a meeting with Iraqi contacts in the build-up to war, saying "Tell them that we will see them in Baghdad."

Iraq Rejects US Demand That Hussein Leave (March 18, 2003)

Saddam Hussein on Tuesday vowed to repel any invasion and rejected President George Bush's ultimatum to flee into exile. (Associated Press)

Bush Gives Saddam and His Sons 48 Hours to Leave Iraq (March 18, 2003)

President George W. Bush brought the world to the brink of war during a 15-minute televised speech by issuing an ultimatum for Saddam Hussein to step down within 48 hours. (Guardian)

President George W. Bush's Speech on Iraq (March 18, 2003)

The full transcript of President Bush's ultimatum, which declares that the US will lead a unilateral attack on Iraq if Saddam Hussein does not go into exile within 48 hours. (New York Times)

The Azores Pseudo-Summit (March 17, 2003)

Phyllis Bennis comments on the Azores Summit that it reveals the desperation and isolation of the US, British and Spanish position. (ZNet)

Lunch with the Chairman (March 17, 2003)

Richard Perle, one of the most outspoken advocates of a war against Iraq, is also a managing partner in a venture-capital company that invests in companies dealing with homeland security and defense. Perle's company has also made attempts to do business with the Saudi royal family, according to Seymour M. Hersh. (New Yorker)

Bush to Meet Blair, Aznar in Azores (March 14, 2003)

President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar are meeting to try to find a way to win UN backing for using force against Iraq. (Associated Press)

Kurd-Turk Rivalry Threatens US Plans For Iraq (March 14, 2003)

President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar are meeting to try to find a way to win UN backing for using force against Iraq. (Los Angeles Times)

A Tyrant Forty Years in the Making (March 14, 2003)

Roger Morris writes of the "regime change" carried out by the CIA in Iraq forty years ago. Among the CIA's actions were attempted political assassinations and the handing over of a list of suspected communists and leftists that led to the deaths of thousands of Iraqis at the hands of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party. (New York Times)

Britain's 6-Point Plan on Iraq Is Met With Strong Opposition (March 13, 2003)

The British draft resolution does not address the key issue of seeking a peaceful solution with Iraq and it does not offer a significant compromise from the original draft. (New York Times)

US May Have to Launch War Without Britain (March 12, 2003)

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld caused problems for Tony Blair by stating that Britain's role was unclear in the event of using force against Iraq. (Independent)

Britain Sets New Tests For Saddam (March 11, 2003)

In attempt to win the necessary votes in the UN Security Council, the British government has offered a compromise on the draft resolution, setting out a dozen disarmament tests that Iraq must pass to avoid war. (Guardian)

Short Will Quit If Britain Goes to War Without UN Resolution (March 10, 2003)

Prime Minister Tony Blair continues to face opposition at home. Clare Short, the International Development Secretary, stated she will resign if the UK goes to war without UN approval. (Independent)

US "Awarding Contracts" for Iraq (March 10, 2003)

The US Agency for International Development has already begun to send out requests for proposals from companies anxious to gain contracts worth up to $900 million for reconstruction activities in post-war Iraq. (BBC)

Britain Proposes March 17 Deadline for Hussein (March 7, 2003)

Britain suggests that Iraq will have until March 17 to comply with UN demands, but other council members reject the plan, stating that it would automatically lead to military action. (Associated Press)

UN Finds Holes in Iraq-Kuwait Border Fence (March 7, 2003)

The UN Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) suspects US troops in civilian clothes have entered the Kuwait-Iraq border zone to survey the area. ( Middle East Online)

President Bush's News Conference on Iraq (March 6, 2003)

The text from President Bush's news conference, as recorded by The New York Times. Despite global protests and little international support, Bush said that the US should prepare for a war against Iraq, whether or not the Security Council authorizes such a war.

Timeline (March 6, 2003)

Phyllis Bennis discusses the constant contradictary statements made by officials in Washington on Iraq and she believes that with strong public opposition, war might not be inevitable. (ZNet)

Beijing Vows to Block New UN War Resolution (March 6, 2003)

In another set back for the US to get UN support for war, the Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan stated it opposes a new resolution on Iraq. (Middle East Online)

Britain Seeks Compromise to Close UN Divide Over Iraq (March 6, 2003)

Downing Street proposes a compromise deal with reluctant members in the UN Security Council over a new resolution. The proposal would set a deadline for compliance by Iraq. (Independent)

Foreign Ministers Vow to 'Not Allow' Force Resolution (March 5, 2003)

Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and Russia indicated that they would "not allow passage of a UN resolution to authorize war against Iraq." The French foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin also voiced France's objection to any unilateral US strike on Iraq. (Associated Press)

This War Came from a Think Tank (March 4, 2003)

The German magazine Der Spiegel documents the efforts that right-wing US think tanks have been making since 1998 to promote a war against Iraq. Some members of these think tanks now play a prominent role in the Bush administration.

Iraq War Prognostications (March 4, 2003)

Professor Benjamin I. Page professor in political science believes the possibility of war in Iraq by the end of April is a bit less than 50-50. Page also points out that if Washington chooses to abandon the UN route it will be very costly, especially to its close allies Britain and Spain.

US, Britain Set Timetable at UN (March 4, 2003)

US officials have indicated that a vote on a new UN resolution on Iraq would come soon after the report on March 7 by weapons inspectors Hans Blix and El Baradei. (Washington Post )

US Prepares to Use Toxic Gases in Iraq (March 3, 2003)

The US might use riot control agents CS gas and pepper spray in a war on Iraq. This action could undermine the credibility of the Chemical Weapons Convention and legitimize chemical warfare as a tool of war. (Independent)

Poles Apart (March 2003)

Le Monde Diplomatique looks at the widening gulf between the US and Europe created by the impending US war against Iraq. The article examines the underlying motives behind this war, including the Bush administration's declared goal of world supremacy.

Putin Again Rejects US Calls For Support of a War Fearing Effect on the Mideast (March 1, 2003)

President Vladimir V. Putin stressed the importance of solving the Iraq crisis by peaceful means and that the inspectors should be given more time. (New York Times)

Turkish Parliament Refuses to Accept GI's in Blow to Bush (March 1, 2003)

Officials in Washington were stunned when the Turkish parliament rejected a resolution allowing US troops to use Turkey as a base for an attack on Iraq. (New York Times)

The Thirty-Year Itch (March/April, 2003)

Robert Dreyfuss argues that Washington's hawks have been calling for the US to seize control of the Persian Gulf for three decades. The planned war on Iraq will fulfill this vision, in which "the key to national security is global hegemony." (Mother Jones)

Russia Will Use Veto to Maintain World Stability (February 28, 2003)

Russia has veto power in the UN Security Council, and according to Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov it may use its veto to avoid a war against Iraq. (Middle East Online)

Hell-Bent for War (February 27, 2003)

A think tank called the Project for a New American Century has spent the past six years lobbying the White House to initiate a war against Iraq. Now, according to Jason Leopold, the PNAC has achieved such influence that it has begun to dictate exactly how the Bush administration should handle this war. (CounterPunch)

Revolt of the Backbenchers (February 27, 2003)

Prime Minister Tony Blair suffered the biggest revolt against a governing party in British history when 121 Labour MPs voted against an immediate war in Iraq. (Independent)

British Prevail on New Wording, But Diluted Draft Still Spells War (February 25, 2003)

The language on the draft resolution submitted by the US, Britain and Spain was softened because of the positive report by chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix and the UN Security Council member's appeal to allow the inspection process more time. The resolution still gives UN implicit authorization for war against Iraq. (Guardian)

War by Timetable (February 24, 2003)

Paul Rogers discusses various factors ranging from weather condition to full moon that might influence the Pentagon's decision on a possible starting date for a US-led invasion against Iraq.( Foreign Policy in Focus)

Bush Warns UN Has Final Chance on Iraq (February 22, 2003)

President George W. Bush's answers "last chance" when asked whether the UN would become irrelevant if it does not pass a resolution paving the way to war. The "relevance" of the organization seems to depend in Washington's view on pandering to the wishes of the US. (Middle East Online)

Chirac Fortifies Antiwar Caucus (February 22, 2003)

52 African countries unanimously declared their support for France's opposition to US military action against Iraq during a summit in Paris. (Washington Post)

Hardly Humanitarian (February 21, 2003)

Mike Aaronson, director-general of Save the Children, dismisses Tony Blair's insistence that a war in Iraq would be on humanitarian grounds. He shows that there is little evidence of such a concern: By perpetuating the sanctions regime for more than a decade, the British government bears responsibility for the existing catastrophic humanitarian situation. (Guardian)

Dollar Diplomacy (February 21, 2003)

President Bush's $32 billion aid offer to Turkey reveals "a great deal about the trade-offs taking place beneath all the lofty arguments about going to war with Iraq." Bush hopes to press Turkey to act against the will of its people, who overwhelmingly oppose war, undermining the very principle of democracy the US purports to want for Iraq. (International Herald Tribune)

US Says Anti-Iraq Force Ready as Turkey Comes Round (February 21, 2003)

According to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, US forces are ready to launch an attack on Iraq, and Turkey seems poised to agree to let its territory be used as a launching pad. (Reuters)

Turkey Wants Deal on US Troops in Writing-Erdogan (February 20, 2003)

Turkey suffered substantial economic damage during the previous Gulf War. In the event of a second conflict, the US has offered economic assistance but Turkey claims it is not enough and demands a formal assurance that the US Congress will act quickly to release the aid. (Reuters)

Turkish Demand Risks Impeding War Strategy (February 19, 2003)

Washington is concerned about Turkey's decision to step up its financial demands in return for opening its military bases to US troops. (Los Angeles Times)

US, UK Plans on Iraq Snarled at UN (February 19, 2003)

An anti-war mood dominated an open Security Council meeting on February 18-19. The majority of UN ambassadors expressed their opposition to an armed conflict and supported further weapon inspections. (Associated Press)

Iraq and Al Qaeda: No Evidence of Alliance (February 19, 2003)

Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, argues that there is no evidence of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and that a US-led invasion of Iraq would in fact weaken the international campaign against terrorism. (International Herald Tribune)

Jean Chretien: Canada Not "Willing" (February 18, 2003)

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien told Parliament that Canada has no intention of contributing to a US-led attack on Iraq that has not been approved by the UN Security Council. (Reuters)

France Set to Block Second UN Resolution on Saddam (February 18, 2003)

France might veto a second UN resolution authorizing force against Iraq. At the same time, the 15 EU member states issued a joint statement that force should be used only as a last resort against Iraq and the UN inspectors "must be given the time and resources that the UN Security Council believes they need." (Independent)

Time to End Iraq Talks, US Says (February 17, 2003)

The Bush administration is pressing forward with its war plans. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice stated that action against Iraq must be taken without delay. (Los Angeles Times)

NATO Agrees to Assist Turkey (February 17, 2003)

Members of the NATO alliance were able to agree on helping Turkey in the event of war with Iraq. But, ambassadors from France, Belgium and Germany stated the decision in no way "prejudges the efforts underway" at the UN to find a peaceful way for Iraq to disarm. (Los Angeles Times)

Blix and ElBaradei vs. Powell (February 14, 2003)

Glen Rangwala reviews the evidence presented by Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei in their report to the Security Council on February 14, 2003. He contrasts their reports to the claims made by Colin Powell to the Security Council and those of Tony Blair in a British intelligence dossier.

US Ready to Use Blix Report as Launchpad for Gulf War (February 14, 2003)

Whatever the contents of Hans Blix's report to the Security Council, the US and Britain plan to use the report to push for a resolution authorizing a war against Iraq, according to the Guardian.

Russia, UN Swing Vote, Plays a Waiting Game (February 13, 2003)

President Vladimir V. Putin's country is presently in a powerful position where it can influence critics and supporters of a war with Iraq. (New York Times)

The US and the UN: Risking Relevance (February 12, 2003)

President George W. Bush is determined to go to war against Iraq and therefore "the UN's relevance is contingent upon its subservience to US policies." (Foreign Policy in Focus)

UN Charade: Timing of Iraq War in Bush's Hands from Start (February 12, 2003)

Michael T. Klare argues that from the very beginning, the pace and timing of the conflict with Iraq has been set by the White House, not by the UN Security Council or by the work of UN weapons inspectors. (Pacific News Service)

Crushing German Dissent: Why the US Fears Europe (February 11, 2003)

The Bush administration's frustration over German and French resistance to war with Iraq stems from their fear of Europe challenging US interests in the future. (International Herald Tribune)

France, Germany and Russia Defy the US by Declaring That War is Unjustified (February 11, 2003)

In a joint declaration, three members of the UN Security Council declared that there are alternatives to war and the UN weapons inspections must be given more time. (Independent)

German Source: UN Majority Wants More Iraq (February 11, 2003)

According to a German source, their government is going to use its "whole political weight to prevent a war." The source also states that 11 of the 15 Security Council members support an extension of the UN weapons inspections in Iraq. (Reuters)

Bush Seems Unfazed by Setbacks (February 11, 2003)

In spite of European opposition and initiatives for peace by key allies, the Bush administration expressed confidence that the United States "would prevail in the end." (Los Angeles Times)

Allies Block NATO Aid to Turkey (February 10, 2003)

The decision by leading European NATO members to block military planning to protect Turkey in the event of war against Iraq has deepened the rift among allies and caused a crisis within the organization. ( Associate Press)

Germany and France Score Diplomatic Points with Iraq Proposal (February 10, 2003)

According to Agence France-Presse, the "old Europe" team of France and Germany has regained the initiative over the US by issuing an alternative proposal for disarming the government of Iraq after this week's security conference in Munich.

US Fury at European Peace Plan (February 10, 2003)

The Bush administration has reacted with fury to a Franco-German initiative to extend arms inspections in Iraq, and relations between the three nations are plummeting. "The problem now," according to one diplomat, "is that things are getting personal." (Guardian)

France-Germany Hatching a Plan (February 8, 2003)

In an attempt to avert a war, France and Germany have drafted a proposal to solve the Iraq crisis. The attempt is called "Project Mirage" and contains measures such as tripling the amount of weapon inspectors and extending the no-fly zone to all of Iraq. ( Reuters)

Annan Warns Bush Against Unilateral Attack on Iraq (February 8, 2003)

Stressing that the use of force should be used as a last resort only, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urges the US not to use unilateral military action against Iraq. (Reuters)

"Game Is Over" for Baghdad, Bush Declares (February 7, 2003)

According to President George W. Bush, time has run out for Iraq and the US is prepared to take "whatever action is necessary" to disarm Iraq. ( Los Angeles Times)

France, Russia Oppose Use of Force Against (February 7, 2003)

Both France and Russia emphasized that further initiatives on Iraq must take place within the UN Security Council. Russia stressed that future action depends on the upcoming UN weapons inspection report. ( Middle East On-Line)

UN Envoys Said to Differ Sharply in Reaction to Powell Speech (February 7, 2003)

There was mixed opinion among Security Council representatives regarding the evidence laid out on Iraq's weapon program. For example, Spain's foreign minister Ana Palacio expressed concerns that France's suggestion to add more inspectors "would only send a message of weakness from the Council." ( New York Times)

UK Dossier Lifted Evidence (February 7, 2003)

Iraq expert accuses Downing Street of plagiarism from published academic articles, used in the British dossier to which Colin Powell referred during his speech to the UN Security Council." Powell said the now-discredited dossier described "in exquisite details Iraqi deception activities." Also see Glen Rangwala's excellent detailed analysis. (Guardian)

Ritter Dismisses Powell Report (February 6, 2003)

According to the former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation did not demonstrate any "conclusive proof that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction." (Kuyodo News)

Mr. Powell, You're No Adlai Stevenson (February 6, 2003)

Stephen Zunes argues that Secretary of State Colin Powell was unable to provide proof that Iraq has "anything that could seriously threaten the security of its neighbors, much less the United States." (Foreign Policy in Focus)

You Wanted to Believe Him – But it Was Like Something Out of Beckett (February 6, 2003)

Robert Fisk disputes Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation on Iraq's weapon program and asks the important question, "why wasn't this intelligence information given to the inspectors months ago?" (Independent)

Powell at the UN: Another Step Forward on the Road to Baghdad (February 5, 2003)

While Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech was intended to convince members of the Security Council that Iraq was hiding weapons programs from UN inspectors, it has also convinced them that the US itself has been withholding important information from the inspectors. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Leaked Report Rejects Iraqi al-Qaeda Link (February 5)

An official British intelligence report declares that there are no current links between the Iraqi government and the al-Qaeda network, according to BBC News. This flatly contradicts one of the main charges made against the government of Saddam Hussein by the US and Britain.

Powell's Fairy Tales: Puerile and Patronizing (February 5, 2003)

Pravda reacts to Colin Powell's speech to the UN Security Council and dismisses the US evidence and its interpretation. "This presentation of ‘hard evidence' is a tissue of lies, gossip, misinterpretation, cynical maneuvering and possibly even misrepresentation, aimed at providing a case for a war against Iraq," states the Russian newspaper.

US Claim Dismissed by Blix (February 5, 2003)

The head of the weapons inspectors, Hans Blix, refutes some of Colin Powell's evidence, such as mobile biological weapons laboratories and the theory that the Iraqis knew in advance what sites UNMOVIC would inspect. (Guardian)

Powell's UN Speech Dissected (February 5, 2003)

"Powell's multi-media presentation was a rag-bag of old allegations, which the United States has been making for years, some of them based on information Iraq has itself provided to UN inspectors," argues the Electronic Intifada. The newspaper insists that this evidence would not be considered as proof in a US court of law.

The Unanswered Questions (February 5, 2003)

According to Ian Davis (Director of the British American Security Information Council), Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation about evidence on Iraq's weapon program to the UN Security Council did not offer justification for war. (Guardian )

France: Use of Force a 'Final Recourse' (February 5, 2003)

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin remained firm in his opposition against a war on Iraq and emphasized that the weapons inspectors must be given more time. (Los Angeles Times )

Powell's Dubious Case for War (February 5, 2003)

Phyllis Bennis questions the validity of Secretary of State Colin Powell's report about Iraq's weapons inspection program and its connection to Al Qaeda. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

I Will Risk All on Iraq, Says Blair (February 4, 2003)

Prime Minister Tony Blair has failed to convince Britons of a need for military action. He does not want to be viewed as the Prime Minister who did nothing about threats of terror and is ready to put his political career in jeopardy. (Guardian)

Blair Fails to Convince Chirac on Iraq (February 4, 2003)

President Jacques Chirac was not convinced to join a US-led coalition against Iraq. Chirac emphasized that the UN weapons inspectors should be given more time. (Los Angeles Times)

Double Standards, UN Style (February 3, 2003)

The UN bears shocking double standards, say Globalvision News Network. Despite the fact that permanent members of the Security Council own the world's largest quantities of nuclear weapons, many still see the UN as some great, ethical, crusading organization.

US-British Strategy Puts 6-Week Time Limit on Iraq (February 3, 2003)

It seems likely that Britain and US will only consider a second resolution if they are able to persuade France to support a war on Iraq. Otherwise, "the administration would opt for no new resolution and proceed on the basis of past resolutions." (Los Angeles Times)

Powell Faces Tough Sell to a Skeptical UN (February 3, 2003)

With very ambiguous evidence it will be difficult for Secretary of State Colin Powell to convince the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the time for an attack on Iraq has come. (Christian Science Monitor)

Split at CIA and FBI on Iraqi Ties to Al Qaeda (February 2, 2003)

According to analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Bush administration exaggerates the intelligence reports on the links between Iraq and terrorist groups. (New York Times)

US Woos War Allies with Cash, Weapons (February 2, 2003)

The Chicago Tribune reveals how discussions on the potential role of allies from the Middle East in a war against Iraq are accompanied by negotiations and offers of US aid. A coincidence?

US Bombers to Start War With Onslaught on Saddam Palace (February 2, 2003)

Recent information has come out about the US war plans against Iraq, including possible targets. This article suggests that this leak is part of the propaganda effort to persuade skeptics against a war that American superiority will result in minimum casualties. (Observer)

Iraq: The Imperial Precedent (January 2003)

The scenario of a regime change in Iraq brought about through a war echoes the historical precedent of the British invasion of Mesopotamia in 1914. According to historian Charles Tripp, this has everything to do with the "logic of imperial power." (Le Monde Diplomatique)

NGOs Lead Move to Use UN General Assembly to Stop War (January 31, 2003)

A coalition of NGOs is trying to push the Iraq issue to the UN General Assembly, arguing that the Security Council is deadlocked by US attempts to "cajole, arm-twist and offer economic and military aid to member states in order to get votes in the Security Council." Some UN members are also allegedly working on such a move behind the scenes, reports Inter Press Service.

Bush Warns Iraq It Has Only Weeks to Yield Weapons (January 31, 2003)

President Bush warned the government of Iraq that it has "weeks, not months" to disarm, or face an invasion led by the United States. (New York Times)

Don't Go it Alone America, Urges Blair (January 31, 2003)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has hinted that he will attempt to convey President George W. Bush to continue dealing with the Iraq issue through the United Nations. (Times, London)

Al-Qaida and Iraq: How Strong Is the Evidence? (January 30, 2003)

While George W. Bush and Tony Blair have claimed that there are links between al-Qaida and Iraq, intelligence analysts in both countries say that the evidence falls far short of supporting this supposed link. (Guardian)

Working Against the Clock (January 30-February 5, 2003)

Although many believe that the countdown to war has begun in Washington and London, leaders in the Middle East, including Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, are still trying to work for a peaceful diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis. (Al-Ahram Weekly)

Support for UN Resolutions (January 30, 2003)

The majority of political groups in the European parliament voted against a possible US attack on Iraq and declared that "breaches of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 currently identified by the inspectors with regard to weapons of mass destruction" do not justify military action. (European Parliament)

The Empire Strikes First (January 29, 2003)

President George W. Bush's State of the Union consisted of great illusions to prepare the public for war against Iraq and with or without UN approval: "The course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others." (New York Times)

''US Unilateralism a Threat to World Peace'' (January 29, 2003)

In a scathing critique of US unilateralism, this article argues that a war against Iraq would demonstrate ignorance towards other societies and an interest "in preserving American Society at the expense of the rest of the world." (Yellow Times)

The Fate of the Security Council (January 27, 2003)

While the US attempts to use the UN Security Council to contain Iraq, other members use it to contain the US. The dilemma today is how far can the Security Council go "to accommodate the United States without being seen as impotent, and how far it can oppose the United States without condemning itself to irrelevance?" (International Herald Tribune)

$4 Billion Offer to Turkey (January 27, 2003)

To ensure military cooperation, the US is using a "behind-the-scene carrot-and-stick approach" by offering Turkey a considerable aid package. (International Herald Tribune)

An Engineered Crisis (January 27, 2003)

Brian Whitaker argues that the Bush administration's current rush to war is the culmination of an engineered crisis driven by Washington rather than Baghdad that began from the moment George W. Bush took office. (Guardian)

US Weighs Tactical Nuclear Strike on Iraq (January 25, 2003)

The US considers nuclear weapons an option against a war with Iraq. The situation is especially alarming when the Pentagon treats nuclear weapons as "grouped with conventional military options," rather than a "special category of arms." (Los Angeles Times)

Iraq Faces Massive US Missile Barrage (January 24, 2003)

CBS News reports that if the Pentagon follows its current plan for a war in Iraq, one day in March the Air Force and Navy will launch between 600 and 800 cruise missiles at targets in Iraq over a two-day period. This is twice as many missiles than were launched during the entire 40 days of the first Gulf War.

Health Experts Warn of Iraq War Consequences (January 24, 2003)

In an unprecedented move, more than 550 international health experts signed an open letter urging British Prime Minister Tony Blair to consider the horrific humanitarian effects of war on Iraq. The group is considering sending a similar letter to President Bush. (Reuters)

To Some in Europe, the Major Problem Is Bush the Cowboy (January 24, 2003)

According to the New York Times, President Bush's harsh and often religious rhetoric and his confrontational style has done much to contribute to European opposition against a US-led war on Iraq.

Where They Stand on War Against Saddam (January 24, 2003)

This update from the Guardian provides a synopsis of the positions being taken by the governments of France, Italy, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Denmark regarding the possibility of a war against Iraq.

Six Neighbors Call on Iraq to Obey UN on Weapons (January 24, 2003)

Diplomats from Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia issued a statement calling on the Iraqi government to show "continued cooperation" with UN weapons inspectors as a step to avoid a US-led war. (New York Times)

White House Dismisses Allies Opposition to War with Iraq (January 23, 2003)

Secretary of State Colin Powell has expressed great frustration over ally opposition against a US led war on Iraq. In an interview Powell states, "how much longer should inspections go on?" (Associated Press)

NATO Wavering on War with Iraq (January 23, 2003)

There is an increased probability that the US will attack Iraq without UN support. Tension and hesitance among NATO allies causes delay in US war plans, while Russia calls for giving the inspectors more time. (International Herald Tribune)

Blair: 'No Link Between Saddam and Osama' (January 22, 2003)

Prime Minister Tony Blair failed to convince the Labour liaison committee on the connection between Iraq and terrorist groups during their biannual meeting. (Independent)

Turkey Urges Bush to Heed Call for Peace (January 22, 2003)

The chairman of Turkey's governing party urges President Bush to listen to the voices of those in the US and Britain who are protesting against a war on Iraq, reinforcing Turkey's public opposition to a US-led attack. (Washington Post)

Germany and the Anti-War Bloc (January 22, 2003)

Chancellor Gerhard Schrí¶der's refusal to support military action in Iraq makes it difficult for US and Britain to built up a "war approving vote" in the UN Security Council. Germany's stance together with France increases the possibility that the European Union would unanimously reject a war with Iraq. (Times, London)

Move by France Ups the Stakes (January 22, 2003)

The French opposition against war puts greater pressure on the US to defend its position. US officials have hinted that they might be willing to extend the timeline for inspections if it would help to build the case for intervention.(Los Angeles times)

Inc's Cosy Deals with Iraq at Risk as War Looms (January 21, 2003)

War against Iraq would provide a great opportunity for US companies, though it might also put an end to the close relations between France and Iraq. Over the past 30 years Baghdad has purchased French products ranging from cars to phone systems. (Dow Jones Newswires)

France Vows to Block Resolution on Iraq War (January 21, 2003)

French opposition and their threat of veto can prevent a possible US-led war on Iraq. French Foreign Minister De Villepin warned, "if a war is the only way to resolve this problem, we are going down a dead end." (Washington Post)

Don't Count on the UN to Save Us from Going to War (January 20, 2003)

According to Simon Tisdall, placing too much faith in the UN's ability to oppose a war in Iraq may be misguided, since it is unlikely that members of the Security Council will oppose US demands for a second resolution authorizing the war. (Washington Post)

US Offers Immunity to Saddam (January 20, 2003)

The Arab proposal to "urge the Iraqi leader to go into exile" might be a measure to avoid war. At the same time, the US and Britain are pressuring UN weapons inspectors to come up with results. (Guardian )

Clock Running Down on Iraq (January 20, 2003)

Time is running out for Iraq and a smoking gun might not be necessary for intervention. According to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Iraq's "record so far is not good and they have very little time left to make it a good record." (Australian)

US Accelerates Its Efforts to Build a Case Against Iraq (January 19, 2003)

The Bush administration has begun to lose confidence that UN inspectors will find a "smoking gun" in Iraq and is thus attempting to build a case that what it calls Iraq's "pattern of noncooperation" could provide a pretext for a war. (New York Times)

A Skeptical UN (January 19, 2003)

As the Bush administration prepares for a crucial UN Security Council meeting at the end of this month, it appears that a strong majority of council members are less willing than ever to agree to support military action against Iraq in the near future. (Washington Post)

There Is No Evidence. There Is No Case for War (January 19, 2003)

In the lead editorial of its Sunday edition, The Independent voices its opposition to war in Iraq, arguing that as yet weapons inspections have provided no evidence to justify what it calls a "risky war."

Schrí¶der's Antiwar Stance Becomes a Balancing Act (January 17, 2003)

Chancellor Schrí¶der faces a dilemma on a possible UN vote. Germany risks antagonizing its closest ally,the US, but support for military action could split Schrí¶der's coalition government (New York Times)

Iraq Weapons Inspectors Find Empty Chemical Warheads (January 17, 2003)

UN inspectors found empty warheads designed to carry chemical weapons in a complex of military bunkers. UN officials have not yet determined if the warheads had been accounted for in Iraq's December 8 declaration. (Guardian)

US Plans Interim Military Rule in Postwar Iraq (January 17, 2003)

US military commanders would likely rule Iraq for at least several months in the aftermath of a US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein, according to the Bush administration's plans for the future of Iraq. In fact, the US military could play a role in Iraq for years to come. (Washington Post)

The Coming War with Iraq: Deciphering the Bush Administration's Motives (January 16, 2003)

Michael T. Klare disputes the Bush administration's public statements about why a war with Iraq is necessary. He argues that the real reasons for such a war have more to do with the pursuit of oil and the administration's desire to preserve the status of the US as the world's lone superpower. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Direct Action May Become a Necessity (January 16, 2003)

Tony Blair's ability to "smooth talk" the public into supporting war and "to use the UN if it guarantees the result they want" seems doubtful in the face of increasing anti-war movements in Britain. (Guardian)

US Formally Asks for Limited NATO Help (January 15, 2003)

The US has formally asked NATO for "limited help" in case of war with Iraq. Proposals include helping to protect Turkey from the threat of counter-strikes, using NATO's planning facilities, and providing peacekeeping troops in Iraq if the US overthrows Saddam Hussein's regime. (Associated Press)

Anxiety Bubbles Beneath Support for War with Iraq (January 15, 2003)

Dozens of interviews conducted by the Washington Post across the country in recent days have confirmed that while many Americans are telling pollsters that they favor an invasion of Iraq, a deep sense of anxiety lies beneath this misleading layer of support.

Defiant Blair Says UN Has No Veto on War (January 14, 2003)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair foresees the possibility of France, Russia or China vetoing a second Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. He says, though, that the UK would "act in tandem" with the US. (Independent)

Bush Doesn't Want Good News (January 14, 2003)

Robert Scheer argues that the Bush administration has treated what should be good news--the fact that UN arms inspectors have failed to find a "smoking gun" in their search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq--as "nothing more than rain on its war parade." (Los Angeles Times)

Opposing War Is Good, But Not Good Enough (January, 2003)

Contradicting Bush's claim that Iraqi dissidents support a US war, an Iraqi exile living in London argues that "a palace coup might be convenient for the US Administration, but it would be another tragedy for the Iraqi people." He calls for a peaceful, diplomatic approach to restoring democracy to Iraq within the bounds of international law. (The Progressive)

UN Arms Inspectors Could Take a Year (January 13, 2003)

UN arms experts say they want up to a year to complete their inspections in Iraq. According to Reuters, top UN inspectors appear anxious to slow down the timetable of a proposed US attack on Iraq. (Reuters)

Blair Steps Up War of Words (January 13, 2003)

In an effort to appease skepticism among Labour MPs and the public, British Prime Minister Tony Blair insists that the UK will not go to war without UN approval. At the same time, British troops leave for the Gulf to supplement the huge US arsenal already in the region. (Guardian)

A Question of Timing: Go Slow or Fast on Iraq? (January 13, 2003)

According to the New York Times, many members of the Security Council are trying to buy time for diplomacy in Iraq to give the inspections a chance and avoid a war. This move corresponds to growing anti-war sentiments back in the capitals, says the newspaper.

Where the World Stands on an Invasion of Iraq (January 12, 2003)

This article provides a brief synopsis of the official positions of governments throughout the world --including Australia, Canada, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Syria -- regarding a potential invasion of Iraq. (Observer)

EU Tells the US to Toe the UN Line (January 11, 2003)

The European Union warns the US that it will not support a war against Saddam Hussein without clear proof that he holds banned weapons. According to Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, inspectors have not yet uncovered any such evidence. (Guardian)

UN Keeps up Hunt for Smoking Gun in Iraq, US Says None Needed (January 10, 2003)

Hans Blix reported to the Security Council that weapons inspectors found no "smoking gun" to incriminate Iraq, but US Secretary of State Colin Powell insists that the US may press ahead with war without new evidence. The US claims that Iraq's failure to allow inspectors to interview Iraqi scientists in Iraq without government monitors proves Iraq's non-cooperation. (Agence-France Presse)

Britain Urges US to Delay War until Autumn (January 9, 2003)

As opposition grows among Labour MPs to a US-led attack against Iraq without a UN backing , London advises the US to defer the war. Postponing the war until fall 2003 would give inspectors more time to find evidence that Baghdad had defied UN demands to dismantle his nuclear, chemical and biological programs. (London Telegraph)

Germany Will Not Insist on 2nd Vote, Envoy Says (January 9, 2003)

Contrary to most members of the Security Council, Germany believes that a new resolution on Iraq is "desirable but not necessary." Germany is trying to avoid further damage to its relations with the US, while constrained by its strong domestic opposition to participating in a war against Iraq. (New York Times)

Blair Underlines Support for Bush (January 7, 2003)

In defiance of Britain's ambassadors' warning against a war in the Middle East, Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to claim that ""it is massively in our national interest to remain the closest ally of the US" by supporting military action in Iraq. (Guardian)

There are Alternatives to War in Iraq (January 7, 2003)

"This isn't about when we should go to war. We've been at war with Iraq since 1991." This article puts forth several ways to promote peace and stability in the Middle East without taking the lives of even more innocent Iraqi civilians, who have been suffering from brutal sanctions for over ten years. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Britain: 2nd UN Iraq Plan Preferred (January 6, 2003)

Britain would prefer a second UN resolution authorizing military action against Iraq if inspectors find it has weapons of mass destruction. Other European countries will not support a war without a second UN resolution. (Associated Press)

Undercover War Begins as US Forces Enter Iraq (January 6, 2003)

President Bush's claim that Saddam can avoid a war rings hollow as the US and UK continue to amass tens of thousands of troops in Iraq. France, in contrast to its prior stance against military confrontation, has also called on troops to prepare for possible deployment. (Sydney Morning Herald)

US Is Completing Plan to Promote a Democratic Iraq (January 6, 2003)

As the war drums grow louder, the Bush administration is devising a complex plan to occupy a post-war Iraq and impose a military occupation government in the name of "democracy." Plans include the immediate seizure of Iraqi oil fields. Administration officials say US occupation of Iraq will last "at least" 18 months. (New York Times)

If Only He Would Listen, This Could Be Blair's Finest Hour (January 6, 2003)

British envoys from across the world, gathering in London for an unprecedented "brainstorming" session, warn that a war against Iraq could have "devastating consequences" for the fight against terrorism. The diplomats argue that Blair should use his leverage to intervene in the US' push for war. (The Guardian)

US Operatives Are Said to be Active in Iraq (January 5, 2003)

For months, US Special Forces and CIA officers have been working in special teams to gather information in Iraq to prepare for an upcoming war. While the intelligence missions are purportedly separate from the weapons inspections, "the two operations may be moving in parallel," according to a US intelligence official. (Boston Globe)

UN Inspectors Fear Bush Will Ignore Them (January 5, 2003)

As the deadline for UNMOVIC to report to the Security Council approaches, inspectors fear that the US will use their work a trigger for a US-led attack against Iraq, even if they have not found any evidence of weapons of mass destruction. (Observer)

Tutu Attacks Blair on Iraq (January 5, 2003)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he is "shocked" at Tony Blair's hawkish support of a war against Iraq. Tutu, a Nobel peace prize winner, also censures the US' persistent willingness to act unilaterally. (Observer)

War in Iraq: Chirac Means to Reassert his Divergence (January 2, 2003)

In his address to the nation, French President Jacques Chirac reiterated that only the Security Council is competent to make a decision on the quality of the inspections. Chirac argued for the "two step" approach requiring a new UN vote before any intervention. (Le Monde)

No Case for Iraq War, Says UN Chief (January 1, 2003)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says that military action against Iraq is unjustifiable before Hans Blix reports back to the Security Council in late January. Even though weapons inspectors have not found "one iota of concealed material," the UK and US continue to prepare for a war. (Independent)

The Dead Remember (January 1, 2003)

According to a German reporter, the unedited version of Iraq's weapons program declaration contained information on how the Reagan government and a number of US corporations were involved in the development of Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs. (truthout)

Post-Saddam Iraq: Linchpin of a New Oil Order (January, 2003)

Michael Renner of Worldwatch Institute argues that a US-occupied Iraq would shift the balance of power in the Middle East and allow Washington to gain an enormous leverage over world oil production. Oil companies, with "pervasive" ties to the White House, see Iraq as "a boom waiting to happen." (Foreign Policy in Focus)

US Support for the Iraqi Opposition (January, 2003)

Chris Toensing discusses the ideological positions of Iraqi opposition groups, their opinions on an impending US invasion, and potential futures for a post-war Iraq. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

'This Action Is a Call for a Lawless World in Which the Powerful Will Rule' (January 2-15, 1999)

The US and its "pathetic puppy dog" Britain are simply saying "nothing else matters - not international law, not the World Court, not the United Nations, and not the opinions of the countries and people of the region." Noam Chomsky, in this interview, asks if these bodies ought to propose sanctions against the US. (Frontline)



Take Action

Celine Nahory (left) and Marianna Quenemoen (right)
in the anti-war protest in Washington DC
on January 18, 2003



Not In Our Name (September 19, 2002)

This statement of conscience calls on the US people to resist the "war without limit" and the new measures of represion that have emerged since September 11, 2001.

An Open Letter From the Academic Community Opposing a US Invasion of Iraq (September, 2002)

In this open letter, the academic community explains the grounds to oppose a US invasion of Iraq, and hopes that the opposition reaches Washington DC.


US Bombing Watch

When was the last time the US bombed Iraq? This site reports daily on US-UK attacks on Iraq since 2000, mostly in "patrolling" the unilateral No-Fly Zones.

FAS: Iraq Crisis Page

Includes information on previous US military campaigns, such as Desert Storm in 1991 and Desert Fox in 1998.

The Gulf/2000 Project: Iraq Page

Colombia University has put together a comprehensive site with links to what they have identified as the most informative and reliable sources of information about Iraq.

Why We Oppose War with Iraq

On this site, FOR (Fellowship of Reconciliation) lists many devastating consequences of a potential war against Iraq.



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