Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Study Says Bush used 27 different rationales for war in Iraq
I always knew there were a lot of shifting explanations and rationales for invading Iraq -- but fer cryin' out loud -- 27?
Jeez, can't ya just pick two or three good lies, and STICK to em?
"If it seems that there have been quite a few rationales for going to war in Iraq, that’s because there have been quite a few – 27, in fact, all floated between Sept. 12, 2001, and Oct. 11, 2002, according to a new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. All but four of the rationales originated with the administration of President George W. Bush.
The study also finds that the Bush administration switched its focus from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein early on – only five months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States."
Even better for those of us who have been following this story, the author "not only identified the rationales offered for going to war, but also established when they emerged and who promoted them. She also charted the appearance of critical keywords such as Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Iraq to trace the administration’s shift in interest from the al Qaeda leader to the Iraqi despot, and the news media’s response to that shift."
The road to war took place over three phases: Sept. 12, 2001, to December 2001; January 2002, from Bush’s State of the Union address, to April 2002; and Sept. 12, 2002, to Oct. 11, 2002, the period from Bush’s address to the United Nations to Congress’s approval of the resolution to use force in Iraq.
The paper "drew from statements by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Policy Board member and long-time adviser Richard Perle; by U.S. senators Tom Daschle, Joe Lieberman, Trent Lott and John McCain; and from stories in the Congressional Record, the New York Times and The Associated Press. She logged 1,500 statements and stories."
And what were the actual rationales?
"Largio identified include everything from the five front-runners – war on terror, prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, lack of weapons inspections, removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Saddam Hussein is evil, to the also-rans – Sen. Joe Lieberman’s “because Saddam Hussein hates us,” Colin Powell’s “because it’s a violation of international law,” and Richard Perle’s “because we can make Iraq an example and gain favor within the Middle East.”
“Uncovering the Rationales for the War on Iraq: The Words of the Bush Administration, Congress, and the Media from September 12, 2001 to October 11, 2002”
Devon M. Largio
Senior Honors Thesis
Department of Political Science
University of Illinois
Bush administration has used 27 rationales for war in Iraq, study says
Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 5/10/04
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