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Iraq History

 Attack on Iraq

In his first State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, President Bush says that Iraq -- as well as Iran and North Korea -- are part of an "axis of evil." The comments signal an increase in

rhetoric from the White House against Saddam Hussein and in support of U.S. action in Iraq.

In frequent public appearances over the next several months, top officials in the Bush administration call for a "regime change" and threaten military action if Iraq does not allow unfettered weapons inspections and destroy its weapons of mass destruction arsenal and program. Iraq accuses the United States of lying in order to control Iraq's oil and serve Israel's interests.

In September 2002 President Bush urged the United Nations to encourage Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. resolutions or "actions will be unavoidable." Bush said that Saddam has repeatedly violated 16 U.N. Security Council resolutions, which include a call for Iraq to "disarm its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs".

Iraqi officials rejected Bush's assertions. In November, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passes a new resolution (UNSC 1441) giving Iraq a 30 day to provide the Security Council a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its military programs, demanding that Baghdad allow U.N. arms inspectors unhindered access to any site suspected of producing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, recalls, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations.

Iraq agreed to the resolution and inspectors returned to Iraq on November 26. The resolution also requires Baghdad to provide a list of its weapons of mass destruction to the Security Council by December 8.

Iraq denies having any weapons of mass destruction and says the resolution is the result of the desire of the United States and Britain to launch military attacks on Iraq.

On 17th of March 2003, President Bush gave Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq, threatening that their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of his choosing.

Saddam has rejected President Bush's ultimatum that he and his sons leave Iraq before early Thursday the 20th of March, or face military action. A statement from the Revolutionary Command Council was broadcast on Iraqi television, saying the Iraqi regime "denounced the reckless ultimatum directed by American President George Bush." It said Iraq is ready to confront a U.S.-led attack.

It was 5:45 in the morning in Baghdad on Thursday 20th of March 23, 2003 (Wednesday 9:45 PM EST) when more than 40 satellite-guided Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from U.S. warships in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf at a "target of opportunity" as described by U.S. military sources. U.S. President George W. Bush announced Wednesday night he had ordered the coalition attack on Iraq to begin with what the Pentagon called a "decapitation attack."


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