In Search of Interest. How much hypocrisy was there in America and Britain's invasion of Iraq in 2003?

Academic Paper, 2019

35 Pages, Grade: N/A

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Chapter One: ‘A Newly Bellicose America’

Chapter Two: ‘Open up’

Chapter Three: ‘False ‘War Sloganeering’



The invasion of Iraq was initially lauded to be mission of humanitarianism, one in which the US-UK coalition would liberate the Iraqi people from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. It has since proven to be a demonstrably superficial claim. War in Iraq had been justified on the basis of both international security, as the question of WMDs dominated policy discourse, and by the supposedly altruistic motives of freeing a nation from despotism. It was these elements that rationalized the war to governments that supported it. Nonetheless, contemporary understandings of the conflict has since interpreted the actions of the US and UK to be primarily motivated by self-interests, thus exposing the hypocrisy of the invasion. The respective governments of the US and the UK held significant stake in removing Saddam Hussein, whose regime was hostile to Anglo-American policies in the Middle East- illustrated by the First Gulf War. Moreover, interests in oil and private industries by the US and UK was the motivation for a sustained campaign in Iraq, as the actions of the Central Provisional Government later indicated. This dissertation will seek to evaluate the hypocrisy that dominated the rationalization of war in Iraq, through an evaluation of Anglo-American justifications for war in direct comparison to the rhetoric espoused by the coalition prior to the invasion.


This work would not have been possible without the will of God, the love of my mother and the support of my friends. Thank you Thahmina, Madina, Redwan, Sana, Tasneem, Fatima, Osha, Malak, Zainab, lmene. I owe the maintenance of my sanity to Maste and the pique of my interest to Kareem Dennis.

Also, thank you James.


This introduction will discuss the post-9/11 world in the context prior to the Iraq invasion, discussing the environments within which it took place and outlining a thesis that will be proved throughout.

The Iraq War did not occur in a vacuum, and neither did America’s decision to invade. Analyzing the perceptions of key actors in the world stage further illuminates the layers of American hypocrisy when invading and occupying Iraq. The attacks on September 11 undoubtedly caused a paradigm shift in the way the ‘West’ perceived itself, and its relations with the Arab world. 9/11 was a moment in ‘which history splits and we define the world as before and after’.1 The fall of the twin towers has been used to justify an indefinite ‘War on Terror’ (WOT), serving to validate the position of a growing and constantly evolving conglomerate of intellectuals known as neo-conservatives. Throughout the 1990s, they vigorously incited for the removal of Saddam Hussein as part of a tenacious American foreign policy which operated on the premise that America’s understanding of ‘democracy’ was the modal system of governance that should be exported universally.2 Prior to 9/11, Bush’s administration was led by realists who were more reserved in their use of power and force, instead preferring to act through supranational bodies. The post-9/11 landscape saw the ‘victory of a cable of hawks in and around the administration’.3 This administration was particularly influenced by neoconservative intellectuals from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), such as William Kristol, and ‘imagined an assertive, tough America that would act alone’ to secure its interests.4

The invasion of Iraq was arguably the most divisive decision in international politics within our generation. The decision to invade drew fault lines between Europe and the Anglo-American alliance, divided most of the Arab world and mobilised millions of people around the world to march in rallies in one of the most widespread anti-war movements in recent memory’.5 Polls showed strong opposition for the war among populations in Spain (81%), France (75%), and Britain (59%).6 Despite the comparative support the war received amongst Americans, the potential for the invasion of Iraq still provoked ‘the largest anti-war march since the Vietnam War’ in Washington’, and saw protests in 37 states.7 The decision riled the public and divided the cabinet’8 as well as the US Congress.9 Retired CIA analyst, Melvin Goodman, reflected that ‘the US rush to war against Iraq marked the worst intelligence scandal in the history of the United States’.10

This dissertation will argue that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the United States (US), heavily supported by the United Kingdom (UK), was laden with hypocrisies, half-truths and deceptions. Hypocrisy, in this instance, is defined as both the ‘practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case’, as well as practicing

‘behaviour that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel’.11 Publicly, the invasion was claimed to be an act of humanitarian intervention. It was asserted that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and would potentially supply them to global terrorist networks. A fallacious link between Saddam and Al Qaeda (AQ) was thus drawn. Regime change was presented as a mechanism through which Iraq would be disarmed and ‘liberated’. In reality, regime change was a primary motivator for the invasion, as Saddam’s presence was considered unfriendly to Anglo-American interests in the Middle East (ME) following the Gulf War.12 The humanitarian argument levelled was a practice in tactical empathy, wherein Britain and the US expediently expressed concern for the citizens at risk of harm at the hands of Saddam. However, this argument was dependant on political convenience and national interest as showcased by the alliance with Saddam during the case of Halabja in 1988.13

The humanitarian argument could also be considered defunct when analysing revelations about the malpractices of the war. The Iraq Body Count project had recorded around 200,000 civilian deaths during the war.14 However, a study including the fatalities from the subsequent insurgency and the avoidable deaths that occurred due to infrastructure collapse (2003-2011), put the number at almost half a million.15 Arguably, this figures are more reflective of the consequences of invasion as it was the provocateur for the ensuing conflict and the damages to Iraq’s transportation, communication and health services. The high number of civilian casualties is partially the result of the coalition forces’ military practices which sought to deflect risk from themselves to civilians. For instance, they were instructed that ‘in a crowded area, if one person shoots at you, kill everyone’.16

Despite the framing of the invasion of Iraq as primarily preventing the potential threat of WMDs, private corporations stood to gain greatly from the invasion and the subsequent occupation.17 Meanwhile, as UNMOVIC inspectors led by Hans Blix were still searching for WMDs in Iraq, the British government was holding meetings with oil companies and lobbying the US for a share of Iraqi reserves upon the eventual invasion. They explicitly requested this information to be withheld from the public, a sign of hypocrisy, as the government obscured an element of the invasion which would reveal its self-interest in the matter.18

Additionally, whilst Bush and Blair publically emphasised the illegality of Saddam’s behaviour, Bush’s provisional government (CPA) in Iraq illegally privatised industries, allowing profits to be redesignated abroad rather than reinvested into the country. This further highlights the hypocritical nature of the Iraq invasion, contradicting the coalitions original concerns for Iraq’s compliance with international law.19

To this day, the effect of the invasion on the relations between the West and the Arab world remain ubiquitous. The subsequent years of occupation have had persisting effects on the people of Iraq, with millions of onlookers in the Arab world witnessing the ‘hurt children, overflowing hospitals, dead bodies, [and] devastation’ of war, broadcast daily on Al Jazeera. ‘The Iraq war became yet another example of the way the West sought to dominate the Arab world.20 The visible brutality of the occupation, most notably the images of torture in Abu Ghraib prison, transformed the official American image as the gatekeeper of peace and moral principle into a ‘rhetoric of atrocities’.21 At a time when a fight between the ‘good’ America and ‘evil’ counter-forces was ensuing, the Iraq war polarised the international community making it increasingly difficult for Arabs to align themselves ‘with us’ - the US.22 Arguably, the most insidious effect of the invasion and occupation is the rise of international terrorism from Iraq, a consequence that Anglo-American leaders had been warned of prior to their entry. The development of ISIS, which began as AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq), is a global legacy of the invasion, and of the wider War on Terror ‘that incubated [ISIS] in the first place’.23

The decision to invade, and it's subsequent events have also had a lasting impact on the domestic politics of both the US and Britain. The view of foreign interventions and politicians who support them has significantly shifted within domestic populations. Prime Minister Blair has been immortalised as ‘Bliar’ by a now disdainful British public who whilst polarised by other domestic issues, remain united in the opinion that ‘history will not forgive them [Blair and his administration]’ for Iraq.24 Countless commentators have linked the current mistrust of ‘experts’ and of politicians in domestic issues such as Brexit, to the chaotic conduct of the Iraq war which ‘fuelled mistrust in politics to stratospheric levels’.25 This was also strongly mirrored within the American political landscape, depicted through the appointment of a Democrat president who campaigned on crucial points in his consideration of foreign policy, including ending the war and calling home the troops.

This dissertation will explore the core themes of American interventionism, public posturing, the effect of the neoconservative ideology and the value of internationalism. It will first introduce the debates around the invasion through a literature review. It will then contextualise the invasion of Iraq in chapter one, outline the stated justifications for this action in chapter two, then, in chapter three, will explore the way in which these were flawed, thus substantiating the claim of hypocrisy in the decision to invade. Throughout this dissertation, a variety of sources will be utilised to conduct analysis that will provide a holistic understanding of the 2003 invasion, though it will rely heavily on speeches from British and American leaders, contemporary media commentary, and reflections from historians. The thesis was led by, and will attempt to answer, a number of research questions: what was the motivation for the invasion of Iraq? Was the presented case consistent and was it adequately substantiated at the time? How far did neoconservatism affect the Iraq invasion?

The secondary literature that principally engages with the invasion of Iraq has referenced its deceptive nature to varying degrees. Historians have aided in formulating a thesis that the invasion of Iraq was fundamentally concerned with regime change, and that the endeavour was enveloped in hypocrisy. Given its recent occurrence in history, with vast developments and facts being unearthed as recently as in the last decade, the historiography related to this specific question is both limited and wide-ranging in insight, depending on how recently it was written.

Often, authors who have had access to different primary source material, set out to focus on different aspects of the war, have come to similar and complementary conclusions, substantiating the notion that the causes of the Iraq war fall into two broad categories -one who judges the decision as a deception or the sympathiser, who believes the invasion to have been legitimate and morally sound - a position which will be more difficult to take should this thesis be judged convincing.

The works of Jason Ralph and Bob Woodward remain a key example of this. Woodward’s behind the scenes account of how and why George Bush decided to go to war, in ‘Plan of Attack’, offers a very different perspective on the causes and justifications for the war as compared to Ralph’s. Woodward’s work is substantive, his hypothesis of Bush’s actions and rationale is evidenced using the interviews of 75 key players, including on-the-record sessions with President Bush, as well as access to memos and transcripts of phone calls on secure lines (including those to Tony Blair).26 However, despite a distinct lack of similar primary evidence between the two works, the Bush administration's preoccupation with regime change within Iraq remains a common theme between the two works.27 In this narrative, President George W. Bush is described as having been intent on exercising a policy of regime change with regard to Iraq immediately after 9/11, this is consistent with the thesis put forward by Ralph who details at length Blair’s efforts to reconcile America’s desire for regime change with the United Nations legal requirements and thresholds for invasion.28

Terry Anderson’s ‘ Bush’s wars’ is another piece of literature that relies heavily on primary sources to paint a vivid picture of the various motivations and decisions made in the Iraq War. Anderson’s work is a searing and persuasive critique of the George W. Bush administration - his main contention being that Bush drove the nation into a war of choice and grossly mismanaged the ensuing conflict.29 Such a critical reading of the actors in the Iraq war is not echoed by the work of Christoph Bluth, who puts forth that the UK’s case for war was founded upon the immorality of a continuation of the containment of Saddam, defending Blair’s central proposition, and appearing sympathetic to the UK’s decision to invade. He contributes valuable analysis on the issue of WMDs, but deviates from most historical enquiries by remaining loyal to this view despite information that has come to light more recently.30

Rutherford's history, ‘Weapons of mass persuasion’, is a particularly unique in aiding a historical enquiry. This is principally due to its focus, not on conversations between key decision makers and policy papers, but on visual material - speeches, editorial cartoons, and media political commentary and particularly news reports, polling data from around the world and interviews with the actual consumers of war. This allows for Rutherford to seamlessly conclude that the propaganda state came to America in the guise of popular culture.31

Ultimately, the most striking consensus within the bulk of this secondary literature is that there is no singular cause or justification for the Iraq War. Instead, each historian argues that there are a myriad of factors that coalesced causing the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The following thesis will use the central works of Anderson, Bluth and Rutherford, alongside a stock of primary sources, to explore how certain motivations and justifications took precedence over others, including the desire for regime change, cloaked by fears of WMDs, and present a substantiated judgment on Britain and the US’s fundamentally hypocritical decision.

Chapter 1: ‘A Newly Bellicose America’

This chapter will contextualise the invasion of Iraq and the debate around whether or not it remains hypocritical. It will do this by analysing the impact that Britain’s imperial past and Anglo-American foreign policy had in shaping the Middle East today. It will also consider and compare US attitudes towards Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War and how these changed during the Gulf War in accordance with shifting interests. It will then assess the development of ‘neoconservatism’ and the influence of George W. Bush’s administration following 9/11. The aim of this chapter is to gain a full understanding of the ideological framework within which the US was operating in order to properly determine whether or not the invasion was hypocritical.

From the onset of the anticipated demise of the Ottoman Empire, the Arabian Peninsula became a territory contested by European imperial powers, namely Great Britain and France. They acted with three primary aims: the extraction of resources; the desire to keep a ‘Third Power’ outside of the region; and, in the case of Britain, to secure a Jewish homeland as a client state in the centre of the ME.32 Here, they erected arbitrary borders and imported the artificial nation-state model in a region which had previously been divided along linguistic and cultural lines, a move that is considered to be the root cause of many of the region’s present-day complications.33 It also disregarded the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, a deal made by the British with the Sharif of Mecca promising Arab independence and the creation of a unified Arab state, in return for support in defeating the Ottomans. Palestine was also allocated as a British protectorate, thus granting Britain a ‘strategic buffer’ to ensure security of the highly coveted Suez Canal.34 This division of the ME, as well as the failure to honour the agreement with Sheikh Hussein is early evidence of a western power acting in its own strategic interests, and triggering instability and conflict in the region.

In Iraq specifically, relations with the US during the Cold War were closely tied to the notion of a ‘Communist threat’, as well as western oil interests in the region. For instance, President Eisenhower established a Special Committee on Iraq following the overthrow of its monarchy in 1958, by Brigadier Abd al-Karim Qasim. President Kennedy subsequently relinquished its duties when he took office due to the repressive measures undertaken by the new Iraqi leadership against communists in 1960. In 1961, in what is considered a precursor to the Gulf War, Qasim attempted to invade Kuwait on the basis that it was a historically integral part of the Basra province before the breakup of the Ottoman Empire - a claim that would later be repeated by Saddam Hussein and is indicative of the long-term volatility generated by the creation of nation-states. Kennedy sent a navy task force to the Gulf while the UK responded by dispatching troops to Kuwait to protect its vital oil supplies, but was urged by the US to take the matter to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The conflict eventually escalated and British forces were replaced by Arab League troops. Nonetheless, this illustrated how Britain was ready to defend its strategic interests in the region using force. After his attempt in

1961 to nationalise oil production, the US supported a Baathist coup against Qasim, which resulted in his eventual execution in 1963. This highlights America’s tendency to take an interventionist role in the politics of the ME due to oil interests. Moreover, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 saw humanitarian arguments used to justify intervention; however, it is notable that when tensions with the Kurds escalated in 1961, which resulted in Qasim ordering their organized massacres, the US declined Kurdish appeals for support illustrating the hypocrisy of America’s interventionist policy.35

The 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war is another striking example of the extent the US was willing to go to secure its strategic interests in the ME. Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Sunni dictator, feared the emergence of a bordering Shia Islamic Republic led by Ayatollah Khomeini, 36 a fear also shared by the Gulf states and America. Under the pretext of retaliating to protests in the Shia towns of Najaf and Karbala by the Iran-backed Da’wa Party, Saddam illegally abrogated the Algiers Accord treaty and invaded Iran in 1980.37 While Reagan’s administration did not directly support Saddam against Iran - whom it had no formal diplomatic relations with from this time - it nonetheless ‘allowed the Saudis to supply American arms to Saddam’ in ‘behind the scenes support’.38 The purpose of the support was not to protect Saddam, but to utilise the conflict as a proxy war against growing anti-American sentiments in the region, thus safeguarding America’s image and its interests. This was underscored by the US’s offer of billions of dollars in credit to help revive the weakened Iraqi economy. Moreover, Reagan wrote a memo in 1984 calling for a ‘plan of action designed to avert an Iraqi collapse’.39 Subsequently, US intelligence agencies began supporting Saddam, with 60 American officials providing his military with information on the movements of the Iranian army. It is this intervention which Terry Anderson argues ‘probably saved the [Iraqi] regime’ whilst helping America to promote a benevolent image of itself to the region.40

As well as providing economic and intelligence support, the US facilitated the usage and development of chemical weapons against the Iranian army - an act made illegal by the Geneva Protocol of 1925.41 The same chemical weapons were later utilised against Iraq’s Kurdish population in 1988. The worst of these was the attack on Halabja which killed 5,000 people, the most recorded deaths at a time from chemical weapons since World War I.42 Despite this clear violation of international law, no international case for humanitarian intervention was made by Western powers. In fact, the US continued to provide Saddam with financial and political support, including ‘$400 million in agricultural credits’ in 1990.43 This offers one of the strongest proofs of the inherent hypocrisy present within America’s interventionist policy and is further highlighted by examining US foreign policy at the time, whose focus was on supporting Saddam against Iran to secure America’s interests against an anti-American power that wished to spread its Islamic revolution throughout the region.

In a key example of America’s selective approach to intervention, Saddam’s decision to invade Kuwait was met with ‘frenzied US interference, compared with American indifference towards other regional problems’.44 For many Arab states, this event emphasised America’s devious pursuit of Western hegemony through securing its interests in the region, beginning with oil in the Gulf states. While he had received unwavering support in the war against Iran, which emboldened him to invade Kuwait, the Gulf War was a turning point in relations between Saddam and the US because his action meant he ‘was sitting on top of a Gulf nation with the third-largest oil reserves in the world’. Should he decide to proceed further into Saudi Arabia, ‘Iraq would own half the world’s known oil deposits’, a reality disadvantageous to US interest as highlighted by Dick Cheney, then US Secretary of Defence, who believed that ’if not removed from Kuwait, Saddam would disrupt the world’s economy and “be in the position to blackmail any nation” in the Middle East’.45 Thus, it is plausible to contend that the main motivator for US action against Saddam was the potential loss of access to vital resources and not the upholding of Kuwait’s sovereignty.

President Bush’s response to what he called ‘naked aggression’ was to successfully form a UN coalition, including European and Arab states, which assembled 700,000 military personnel from 28 countries.46 At the time, this global show of unity against an imperious Saddam was heralded by Bush as a victory ‘for all mankind, and for the rule of law’. The success of the United Nations mandate to attack Iraq meant that the neoconservative camp could push the idea that in the 1990s, the job was half done.47 Furthermore, as neoconservative persuasion had become more prominent following 9/11, going to the UN became more performative and the idea of unilateralism more appealing. Notably, while the UN armies were still in the south of Iraq, Saddam retaliated on the attacks on the moving army - that had been encouraged by the US - by using his Republican Guard who ‘slaughtered Shiites in Najaf and Karbala, shelling homes, buildings, and even holy shrines’ and then moved to attack the Kurds in the north who ‘pleaded with the United States for help’ but were ignored.48 This consistent lack of action on the persecution of minorities, but the use of these instances as later justification for the 2003 invasion, is one of the major hypocritical components of the humanitarian argument in favour of invasion.

Analysing the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is key to understanding the development of ‘neoconservatism’ and its effect on political discourse in America. Neoconservatism is an ideology that is rooted in the historical notions of ‘manifest destiny’ and ‘American exceptionalism’. At its core, it promotes the belief that there is a moral view of the world; that American liberal values are at the forefront of human progress; that the US has a special responsibility to the world to deliver democracy, liberalism, and capitalism; and that the US should use its military might to export these values. Key proponents of this ideology include William Kristol and Robert Kagan, who founded the neoconservative think tank PNAC (1997-2006) and who would later have a profound impact on US politics.49 On foreign policy, one of their foundational beliefs is that ‘national interest’ is not bound to national borders; small nations have defensive policies but a larger nation has more extensive interests such as an ideological identity which it should protect. Kristol’s father, dubbed the ‘godfather of neoconservatism’ argued that the ‘the US will always feel obliged to defend, if possible, a democratic nation under attack from non-democratic forces, external or internal’.50 This obligation was elaborated in the neoconservative think tank PNAC’s ‘Statement of Principles’ (1997), which advocated increased defense spending; an active role in maintaining peace and, crucially, security worldwide through strong leadership that preserves and extends ‘an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles’.51 In 1998, PNAC was more direct, calling for a change in the Iraq aspect in Clinton’s policy of Dual Containment, as it was concerned that an emphasis on internationalism would allow Saddam to threaten US interests in the ME. PNAC also called for regime change and unilateralism, asserting that American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council’.52 Of the twenty-five signatories to the ‘Statement’, then went on to serve in Bush’s administration, rendering it unsurprising that his approach to Iraq followed a bullheaded trajectory, which demanded, at its end, the removal of Saddam, whose tyrannical leadership was antithetical to PNAC’s and neoconservatives’ goals. Though Bush had previously adopted a realist approach to foreign policy, part of the transformation of the 9/11 attacks was to give a greater appeal to forceful leadership, unilateral action, and the universal promotion of democracy. The moral view of the world adopted by Bush is clear in his presentation of the invasion of Iraq as a fight against ‘evil’, while the belief of exceptionalism is delineated by grandiose statements: ‘History has called us to these responsibilities, and we accept them’.53 The war of choice was the first big show of power post 9/11. As Rutherford puts it, ‘The invasion of Iraq was … an advertisement of a newly bellicose America’.54

A look back at US-Iraqi relations in the second half of the twentieth-century reveals that Western interaction with the state has always been configured by strategic interests in the region, and how they are willing to act on them, whether directly or indirectly. Reviewing America’s historical actions and motivations, as well as the predominant philosophy of the Bush administration, is vital to assessing the hypocrisies of the invasion of Iraq. One that has already made itself evident in this history of interaction is the weakness of the humanitarian argument that was consistently exploited to justify the 2003 invasion. Given the historical lack of concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people, the double standard in US foreign policy, namely interventionism in the Middle East in pursuit of American interests, could not be clearer.

Chapter 2: ‘Open Up’

The Bush administration began making the case for the invasion of Iraq immediately after 9/11. Indeed, the administration attempted to justify the war using the following arguments: first, the regime’s ‘history of reckless aggression in the Middle East’ and the need to remove Saddam from its head; second, it actively ‘harboured terrorists, including operatives of al-Qaeda’’; third, the potential that Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) could make their way into the hands of terrorists; and finally, the need for humanitarian intervention to counter Saddam’s human rights abuses.55 Regime change in Iraq was considered and used as a basis for invasion. In many public addresses, from both the Bush administration and Tony Blair’s government, these reasons for invasion were used to create a cohesive and urgent case for preventive war.

It was widely agreed that the threat of WMDs had the greatest appeal. Christoph Bluth asserts, ‘while the alleged link with Al Qaeda was thought to have particular resonance with the American public, the supposed reconstitution of Iraq’s nuclear programmes was the linchpin in US threat perceptions and the case for action against Iraq’.56 However, Bluth argues the underlying reason behind British support for the war was not the ‘perception of an imminent threat’, but the belief that containment was proving detrimental to the Iraqi people, failing to restrain Saddam and rendering it ‘ineffective and morally unacceptable’.57 This argument ensued for the following reasons. Firstly, on the basis that Saddam’s human rights record had not prompted intervention prior to 2003. Secondly, Bluth maintains that though ‘the British government never claimed Iraq represented an imminent threat to the United Kingdom … [nor] to anyone except the Iraqi people’, the public was presented a picture of a looming and inescapable threat. This was partially due to alarming statements by Blair’s government - the most striking being the ‘45 minute’ claim in the September dossier - and because ‘the government did not counter the exaggerated statements that emanated from the US administration or the British tabloid press’.58 This enhanced the threat of WMD which was presented as the primary cause for invasion.

Another stated justification to invade Iraq was an emphasis on Saddam’s disrespect of the international community. For an internationalist like Blair, Iraq’s defiance of UNSC resolutions manifested Saddam’s status as a threat in the ME. While Blair evaded the tenuous link to Al Qaeda and predominantly emphasising a humanitarian argument for invasion, Paul Rutherford argues that for the Bush administration, ‘the war was largely ‘pre-sold’ [to the American public] after 9/11’.59 With the fear of threats to national security looming within American consciousness, Saddam and Al Qaeda became indistinguishable - what he calls a ‘a staple of the pro-war case because it so readily fit into the wider frame of the war on terror’.60

Though regime change was arguably the fundamental motivation for the Iraq invasion in 2003, it was not the central justification of the US and British governments. The removal of Saddam Hussein was arguably inevitable. For instance, though Blair declared the British objective as disarmament, alternate statements made it clear that no scenario existed where Saddam could remain in power irrespective of a resolution to the humanitarian situation. The Cabinet Ministerial Committee on Defence and Overseas Policy in May 1999, described the policy in Iraq as ‘to reduce the threat Saddam poses to the region, including elimination of WMD programmes; and, in the longer term, to reintegrate Iraq as a law-abiding member of the international community’.61 In March 2002, government documents made clear this was impossible without regime change - ‘implicitly, this cannot occur with Saddam in power’.62 Though in the spring of 2001, US Secretary of State, Colin Powell had argued that Saddam did not pose a threat, 9/11 altered the international landscape. Powell would later declare to Congress that regime change would be in the best interest of the region.63 Regime change had been postulated in 1998 by Clinton’s administration, which Bush referred to in 2002, when defending his position as a continuation of his predecessor’s policy rather than a change.64 But while Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, bowing to pressure from the neoconservative base in Washington, Bush, post -9/11, adopted wholesale PNAC’s principles, reiterating them in a number of speeches, notably his 2002 State of the Union address and the Westpoint speech. At the latter, he declared the need ‘to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives’; thereby reinforcing his administration's commitment to topple Saddam in the name of international security.65

The issue of human rights later became a key tool in rallying support for the invasion, though the real purpose was to reinforce the fear of WMDs. The Blair and Bush administrations repeatedly claimed their primary concern in Iraq was the country’s people. In 2002, while citing WMDs, Blair professed Saddam was ‘a threat to his own people and to the region’, a sentiment frequently repeated in order to construct a moral responsibility around Saddam’s rule.66 He attempted to evoke sympathy for Saddam’s ‘own Shia population’, who would face the full extent of ‘existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons’.67 Bush explicitly justified his ‘readiness for war’ by calling Saddam a ‘dictator’ who apparently sought WMDs for both ‘internal repression and for external aggression’.68 Blair’s primary justification to the Commons, on the eve of the invasion, was that it would determine more than just the fate of Iraq and its people, but that Saddam had a history of using chemical weapons ‘against Iran [and] against his own people’.69 Bush engaged in similar rhetoric when highlighting Saddam’s chemical attacks on ‘Iran and on more than 40 villages in his own country’.70 This was all an unmistakable effort to mobilise sympathy for minorities, and the general civilian population living under a repressive rule ‘a brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression’ to garner support for invasion.71 Yet, the hypocrisy is that the lives of minorities had been insignificant during the Iran-Iraq war, when Iraq played a strategic role in undermining other threats to Western regional interests, as evidenced in the preceding chapter.

The leading justification, proposed equally by Anglo-American leadership, was that of Saddam’s capability to deploy WMDs. Blair described how to protect security interests whilst actively seeking a more decisive stance on the issue of Saddam’s regime. Upon receiving intelligence that AQ was attempting to acquire these weapons, he professed ‘you have to take a stand, you have to say “right we are not going to allow the development of WMD in breach of the will of the international community to continue”’.72 Notably, the belief that Saddam possessed WMDs was not new - British policy from 1999 called for the ceasing of his programmes.73 These aims became more acute

following 9/11 as neoconservatives, such as Wolfowitz and Cheney, capitalised on the climate of heightened fear, provoking a shift in defence policy. As early as November 2001, Bush called on Saddam to ‘open up his country’ for inspection over WMDs.’.74 He took this discourse a step further at the beginning of 2002: claiming Iraq had been developing ‘nuclear weapons for over a decade’ and was concealing them ‘from the civilised world’. Bush, supported by Blair in 2002, claimed ‘Iraq aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror’.75 Both the Blair and Bush governments, reasserted claims that Saddam acquired 500 tons of yellowcake uranium from Niger, apparently substantiating whispers of a nuclear weapons programme.76 Alongside alarmist declarations that Iraq had ‘produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas [and] sarin nerve gas’ that, according to Bush, was ‘six months away from developing a weapon’ - the administration stoked fear around the use of nuclear power to drive preemption against Saddam, repeatedly warning ‘we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud’.77 Though Bush’s ultimatum to Saddam testified to a global audience that ‘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’, there were, in fact, very few reliable sources to support these claims, as the third chapter will discuss.78 Given the constant emphasis on intelligence, the use of disproven allegations to build a case against Saddam is testament to America and Britain’s hypocrisy in the decision to invade Iraq.

A pretext for war used by both the British and American governments (more so by the US), was the supposed link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Bluth argues that neoconservatives targeted Iraq because Saddam’s regime was aggressive and uncontrollable and thus a source of regional instability. Furthermore, his possession of WMDs meant he could pose a direct threat or supply international terror groups.79 Once again, the administrations weaponised fear to present a growing threat to their own countries’ security with international terrorism placing the west in great peril. In their joint address in Texas, April 2002, Bush draws a direct link between Saddam and terrorism: ‘the worst thing that can happen is to allow this man to abrogate his promise and hoop up with a terrorist network … [who will have] an arsenal at their disposal’.80 Rumsfeld also attempted to link the two, implying ‘we have to recognise that terrorist networks have relationships with terrorist states that have weapons of mass destruction’, going on to name Iraq, and labelling ‘evidence of Saddam-al Qaeda ties “bulletproof”’.81

Moreover, Bush spoke, in his West Point speech, of mitigating the anticipated threat of ‘unbalanced dictators’ and their ‘terrorist allies’.82 A year after the 9/11 attacks, Dick Cheney made the pivotal, unambiguous disclosure that one of the hijackers, Mohammed Atta, met with an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague a few months prior to the attack.83 The Bush administration sought to leave little doubt that Saddam was linked to the propagators of ‘evil’ that had shocked the world in September 2001. Bluth contends that while the British were careful not to draw links between Saddam and Al-Qaeda, Blair expressed that at some point, future states developing WMD and terrorism might work together’.84 Yet in Britain and Europe, the potential link to Al Qaeda was far less convincing.85 While Blair was much less explicit, his focus on WMDs in Iraq, only three days following 9/11, prompted a tacit connection between Saddam and Bin Laden’s network in public consciousness.86 The potential for these two threats to cooperate against America and its allies magnified the menace of WMDs and bolstered the cause for war. The next chapter will critically analyse the accuracy of these associations, and how much the Bush administration exploited the climate of fear to mobilise its policy of regime change.

Respect for the international community was recounted on numerous occasions when Britain and the US cited Saddam’s lack of cooperation with the UNSC resolutions as a cause for concern and primary indication of his WMD programmes. Opposing the ‘will of the international community’ and being ‘in breach of all United Nations resolutions’ became a central charge against Iraq’s leader.87 Prior to the invasion, UN support ‘enjoyed a considerable measure of moral authority: its sanction of any invasion would give legitimacy to the pro-war cause’.88 The US claimed to be acting ‘in concert with like-minded countries’ because while the administration lauded unilateralism, much of the population showed ‘distress at the notion of going it alone’.89 …valued UN but we’ll see in chapter 3 how the UNSC’s opposition didn't stop them from invading (kofi annan called it illegal), also how upon invasion the US didn't value international law (CPA privatisation)

Regime change may have been a strong case because Saddam had opposed UN resolutions, but the fact that Anglo-American leadership went into the war - especially the US under a preventative approach, which is illegal under international law - without international support, undermined their own supposed adherence to multilateral cooperation and the collaborative nature of the UN which they stressed during the Gulf War and in the New World Order. Furthermore, US rhetoric maintaining the opposition of dictators and the importance of human rights was a distinct part of the moral and ideological reasoning for war yet these run contrary to alliances at the time with countries like Saudi Arabia (absolute monarchy), Pakistan (military dictatorship), and China (who was repressing Tibet). While, at a surface level, the justifications explored in this chapter provide a strong case for invasion, their use reveals America’s selectivity in opposing authoritarian regimes.

Chapter 3: False ‘War Sloganeering’

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was undeniably hypocritical. In spite of stated justifications professing a certainty that WMDs were being developed, an unequivocal link between Saddam and AQ, the legality of the war under UNSC, and a deep concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people, copious evidence indicates that the invasion was based on the whims of leaders rather than on intelligence as they claimed. The hypocrisy is firmly based upon the way in which governments of Bush and Blair manipulated and ignored intelligence to achieve their end of regime change. ‘Groupthink’ has been widely put forward as an explanation for why weaknesses in the intelligence reports were overlooked and the worst-case scenario was usually accepted’.90 There was arguably no reliable intelligence at the time which supported the claims delineated in the previous chapter, yet the officials postulated them relentlessly. Put neatly by Rutherford, the war ‘was variously condemned as unnecessary (let the inspections work), illegal (because it lacked the UN’s sanction), dangerous (because it would provoke more terrorist actions), immoral (because it meant killing innocents). The Invasion was the policy of warmongers like Bush, of imperialists like the neo-conservatives, of capitalists like Big Oil.’91 Arguably, the invasion substantiated claims that Western global actions were for the purpose of establishing hegemony and pursuing self-interest. Certainly, this assertion of self-interest is rooted in the false claims upon which invasion was sought, the interlacement of corporations in the war, as well as the lucrative oil contracts secured as a result of government and private lobbying.

The incessant justification presented by Bush and Blair, emphasising Saddam’s possession of WMDs and the serious threat it posed to security, indicates their deceit and hypocrisy. In spite of a lack of evidence in addition to recommendations from intelligence that Iraq was not a greater threat than other, more volatile, nations, these allegations were said to be rooted in intelligence.92 On the uranium purchase, the CIA was instructed to ensure its veracity, and sent a former ambassador Joseph Wilson who ‘noted that a Niger-Iraq deal would be “absolutely impossible to hide,”, confirming the ambassador’s and general’s reports discrediting the yellowcake story’.93 Yet Bush still referenced this in his 2003 State of the Union Address, and continued to propagate the highly contentious claim that Saddam’s purchase of aluminium tubes were exclusively ‘suitable for nuclear weapons production’ despite the fact that the CIA directed ‘serious doubt’ on it.94 Bush’s proclamations came the day after Hans Blix confirmed that the UNMOVIC had found some materials that fell outside of the limits imposed by the UN, but on the issue of WMDs there was a ‘lack of evidence’.95 Though these were the findings from professional inspectors who had conducted 300 visits, Bush was still threatening the following day, ‘if Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, … we will lead a coalition to disarm him’- he called the invasion a defensive war on this basis, even after a UN authority found no weapons.96

British communications display clearly that leading government officials knew that Iraqi WMD programmes had not advanced.97 Iraqi capabilities were even determined by the British Foreign Secretary to be ‘less than that’ of their counterparts in the ‘Axis of Evil’.98 This was supported by CIA official, Bob Walpole, who ‘bluntly told those officials not to use WMD to justify a war against Iraq: North Korea was more of a threat’.99 While Blair’s government in 2002 was clearly informed that Saddam had not developed any weapons, the CIA continued to make ‘questionable’ claims due to its lack of information. The CIA’s hastily drafted National Intelligence Estimate - collated in three weeks rather than the usual six months - served as official documentation for the claims being made by the Bush administration. It stipulated that ‘Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions’ and ‘could make a nuclear weapons within several months to a year’. However, the Estimate undermined itself by disclosing a ‘lack [of] specific information on many aspects of Iraq’s WMD programs’ and expressing ‘low confidence’ in it's own findings.100 Despite the self-professed scarcity in information, Blair and Bush incessantly made resolute claims of WMDs, citing discredited sources such as Ahmed Chalabi, and the informant ‘Curveball’, while ignoring Naji Sabri, an official who confirmed that Saddam had no WMDs, in order to drive the invasion.101 Condemnation was levelled at Saddam for flouting UN orders, and rallying cries for war were founded upon claims of WMDs, yet, in a memo ‘Bush told Blair that the United States was going to invade whether or not there was a second UN resolution supporting an invasion, and even if weapons inspectors found no evidence that Saddam was producing WMDs’.102 This unwavering resolve suggests that despite their public emphasis on the weight of intelligence, the invasion was driven by agenda not information.

The concern of British and American leadership around Saddam’s supposed possession of WMDs was usually centred on their effect on his civilian population. As discussed in other parts of this dissertation, Britain and the US expressed selective empathy towards Saddam’s victims, choosing to overlook requests for action from Shias and Kurds in the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq and Gulf War. Thus their use of previous persecution to evoke sympathy and garner support for the invasion in the US and Britain is opportunistic and exploitative. Moreover, actions of coalition forces during the war display negligence of civilian life. In the eight years following the toppling of the Ba’thist regime, the Iraqi population, civilians and the armed resistance, faced brazen violence from the US military and contractors, coalition forces, and the Iraqi Security Forces, whereby conventional rules of engagement appeared to be suspended.103 In 2010, WikiLeaks released 392,000 documents it called the ‘Iraq war logs’, covering the events from January 2004 to December 2009.104 While there was existing knowledge on civilian casualties, as well as callous conduct by US military and contractors exposed as early as 2004 in the Abu Ghraib scandal, the publication was labelled an ‘indictment in the court of history for one of the worst judgements in American foreign policy, in which [Tony] Blair finally faces an unanswerable charge of aiding and abetting’.105 The leak revealed that in those six years, there had been 109,032 deaths, with 60% being those of ‘civilians’ and 21% labelled ‘enemy’.106 These classifications were given by the military, hence, it should be noted that the murder of the Reuters’ journalists in the most famous WikiLeaks release was cited as the killing of enemy combatants, therefore the veracity of the labels is questionable.107 Moreover, in 2004, no civilian deaths were recorded in Fallujah; a city that bore the most brutal conflict in the height of occupation. However, Iraq Body Count database recorded over 1,200 deaths during the period, putting their number of total documented civilian deaths from the Iraq ‘war’ at around 200,000.108 An academic study suggests a more encompassing figure of almost half a million, taking into account deaths directly caused by war, attributable to the collapse of infrastructure, including health, sanitation, transport and communication services.109 Extensive ‘collateral damage’, and the way in which soldiers were instructed to operate, is an acute demonstration of the hypocrisy of the humanitarian argument.

The links drawn between Saddam and Al Qaeda were unsubstantiated, hyperbolic, and tenuous at best, and their adoption suggests a desperate attempt by the governments of Bush and Blair to amplify the fear of Saddam and justify his removal. Despite assertions from Walpole, as early as 14 September 2001, that Iran was more involved than Iraq in supporting international terrorism, and that there was no evidence to support a link between Saddam and 9/11, the administration continuously thrust a rhetoric to the contrary. From his thanksgiving address in November 2001, to the ultimatum in March 2003 Bush maintained the charge that ‘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… and it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda’ despite intelligence since then having proved the complete opposite.110 For instance, the Atta claim, central to the construction of an image of Saddam-AQ collaboration, was disproved by the CIA and FBI who determined that Atta was in the US at the time of his alleged meeting in Prague, and yet still and repeated several times by Cheney after his briefing.111 In Britain, there was also a position concluded by intelligence services as early as March 2002. The Iraqi Options paper shows that ‘in the judgement of the JIC there is no recent evidence of Iraq complicity with international terrorism’. The report is unequivocal in its conclusion that ‘there is therefore no justification for action against Iraq based on action in self-defence’.112 This crucial piece of evidence is one of many that suggest that Blair ignored intelligence that did not fit the wider agenda being dictated by the US, rather than the conclusion drawn by commentators following the Chilcot Report, that Blair was given ‘bad’ intelligence. The claim of a link with international terrorism within the context of an invasion allegedly justified by intelligence is thus arguably hypocritical since judgments from key intelligence officials were unambiguous in pertaining that there was no link between Saddam and AQ. As articulated by ‘counterterrorism czar’, Richard Clarke, ‘having been attacked by al Qaeda, for us now to go bombing Iraq in response would be like our invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbour’.113

The act of invasion itself can be judged deeply hypocritical. The consequences of ignoring UNSC and ‘Blair's willingness to go to war with neither ‘international authority nor domestic support’ triggered Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook's resignation from the

Cabinet on 17 March”.114 In Cook’s resignation speech, he could not ‘accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support’.115 The lack of domestic and cabinet support highlights the hypocritical stance Britain took for military action in Iraq, which in the end did not falter Blair’s crucial and winning vote in the House of Commons. Though faced with some opposition, domestic support in the the US, for the invasion, bore little resemblance to the UK. In order to decipher the US and Britain’s agenda to go to war, one must take into account their disregard for international law. Both countries demonstrated the extent to which they would go to execute regime change in Iraq. Surely breaching international law by ignoring UNSC, similarly to Saddam, is an example of hypocrisy? Bluth states ‘the gravest criticism of the decision to go to war is the failure to achieve the consent of the international community for what was a unilateral action against a sovereign state’.116 The US’s appeal to the UNSC proved performative when it discounted the legitimate criticisms and challenges to its proposed policy in Iraq, and proceeded with it's predisposed agenda to remove Saddam. Arguably, the action proved the victory of the neoconservative agenda in Washington, as the calls for Iraqi regime change, alongside strong direction in global affairs, and the prioritisation of the security of American interests - with the added bonus of disregarding internationalism - were finally heeded.

Similar to the Sykes-Picot division of the Arabian Peninsula according to negotiations between Britain and France, the invasion of Iraq was another historical instance of Western powers acting upon the region to secure their own interests. It is arguably hypocritical for the US and Britain to blow the horn of state sovereignty and sanctity of borders, while presenting the invasion as an endeavour to protect the Iraqi people from harm, while simultaneously cultivating plans for the division of petroleum extraction in post-Saddam Iraq. The British government had promised the lobbying oil companies including BP and Shell, a share of Iraq’s oil and gas reserves. Minutes of a meeting between the companies and the Trade Minister show that ‘Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis’.117 BP made it clear to the Foreign Office that the reserves in Iraq, the second largest in the world, were ‘more important than anything we've seen for a long time’.118 The government was being pushed to secure Britain’s place in Iraqi oil fields by oil corporations, particularly given their perceived ‘slow’ action in securing contracts in the aftermath of the Gulf War.119 Towards the latter part of 2002, it met with BP and Shell five times with Iraq a central topic of discussion.The release of these documents reinforced the global impression that the US and Britain were operating on material interests in Iraq. While these oil companies made their enthusiasm for operations in Iraq unequivocal to Blair’s administration, their public proclamations were wholly antithetical. BP maintained, ‘we have no strategic interest in Iraq’, while Shell deemphasized Iraq’s centrality, ‘we have neither sought nor attended meetings with officials in the UK Government on the subject of Iraq’.120 The validity of these statements is vastly undermined due to subject titles of the minutes aptly reading ‘Iraq - Views of UK Business’, ‘Iraq Oil’, ‘BP/Iraqi Energy’, ‘Meeting with BP Regarding Iraq Oil’ and ‘Iraq: BP’.121 A memo revealed by the Chilcot Report indicated that the government was being instructed to engage in ‘discreet’ planning for post-Saddam Iraq, ‘particularly in the oil sector’.122 Meanwhile, in the House of Commons, Blair denied the ‘conspiracy theory that this is somehow to do with oil’123, and later claimed the desire to place oil revenues in ‘a trust fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN’.124 While the state’s motivations have become axiomatic in public consciousness, the uncovering of categorical evidence of deception since the invasion is ongoing, and aids the corroborated argument of American and British hypocrisy.

The evidence in this chapter is clear. Both the Bush administration and Blair’s government levelled dubious claims in order to justify the ideological invasion of Iraq. ‘The administration cherry picked intelligence to fit it's policy, used fear and the threat of terrorism to intensify it's war sloganeering’, comments Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.125 The international deception executed by American and British leadership was an exercise in loud, incessant repetition of bold strawman claims, easily toppled by a closer look at statements from less politicized experts. The invasion of Iraq showed, however, that the case for war need not be impermeable if you are the sole remaining global superpower in a unipolar world.


This thesis proves that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was advocated and presented on deceptive claims made to the American, British and global publics with strong conviction and vigour. The leadership proposing war utilised Saddam Hussein’s past development of chemical weapons, and his impatience with UN weapons inspectors in the 1990s to claim that he was developing WMDs. Hence, the claim of weapons programmes was made on what the world did not know rather than what it was able to prove. Such a claim can easily spin into whichever direction its doctor pleases. In a world stunned by an audacious attack by a group of relatively unknown extremists on the leading defender of freedom, the US was able to tie their apprehension of Iraq as a ‘rogue state’ to the other rogues emerging from the Middle East, and frame the threat of WMD as one which fits into the wider trajectory of the WOT and the defence of liberty and democracy. Though a relationship between AQ and Saddam was realistically untenable, rationality was irrelevant in a climate governed by fear, in which ideologues were able to rally government in the name of preventive war - a concept that could only make sense with a marked sense of self-importance and entitlement. Fitting to their desired projection, the US and UK made a concerted effort to frame the invasion as primarily an altruistic undertaking, an erroneous claim exposed by their history of indifference to Saddam’s persecution of minority communities in Iraq.

The first chapter in this dissertation contextualises the invasion of Iraq, and introduces the reader to a history instrumental in constructing the conditions which lead to the mobilisation of the two leading Western powers. It demonstrates the double standard in US foreign policy, namely interventionism in the Middle East in pursuit of American interests, and engages with the significance of what becomes a dominant camp in the formation of foreign policy following 9/11.

The second chapter delineates the justifications proposed by the administrations of Bush and Blair. It relies heavily on primary source material in order to display transparently the declarations made by officials who ‘sloganeered’ for war.

The third chapter seeks to demonstrate the falsehood of these slogans. Systematically, it reveals the contradictions and deceit prosed and practiced by governments who sought war solely for the sake of national interest.

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1 ‘The War Against America; An Unfathomable Attack’, 12/09/01, New York Times

2 Brandon High, ‘The Recent Historiography of American Neoconservatism’ The Historical Journal

Vol. 52, No. 2 (Jun., 2009), pp. 475-491

3 Paul Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion: Marketing the War Against Iraq, (Toronto: University of

Toronto Press, 2004), pp. 26-27

4 Ibid.

5 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p. 24

6 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, pp. 38-39

7 Terry H. Anderson, Bush’s Wars (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p.117

8 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p.99

9 ‘Iraq Strategy: Bush vs Congress’, 10/01/07, NBC

10 Melvin A. Goodman, Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA, (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008), p. 253

11 ‘Hypocrisy’, in Google Search Engine; ‘Hypocrisy’ in Merriam Webster Dictionary

12 IH.R.4655 - Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 - 105th Congress (1997-1998)

13 Faleh' Abd al Jabar ‘Roots of an Adventure: The Invasion of Kuwait’, in Victoria Brittain (ed.) The Gulf

Between Us: The Gulf War and Beyond, (London: Virago Press, 1991), p. 32

14 Iraq Body Count Database, 2003-2019

15 Amy Hagopian and others, ‘Mortality In Iraq Associated With The 2003–2011 War And Occupation: Findings From A National Cluster Sample Survey By The University Collaborative Iraq Mortality Study’, Plos Medicine, 10.10 (2013).

16 ‘KILL EVERYBODY: American soldier exposes US policy in Iraq’, YouTube, 3:57-4:02, [accessed 15/05/19]

17 Lord Butler, Butler Review, 04/07/04, BBC, (paragraph 257) Anna Fifield, ‘Contractors reap $138bn from Iraq war’, 18/03/13, Financial Times,

18 Sir John Chilcot, ‘The Report of the Iraq Inquiry’, The National Archives, p.461

19 Naomi Klein, ‘Iraq is not America’s to sell’, 07/11/03, The Guardian

20 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p.101

21 Eran N. Ben-Porath, ‘Rhetoric of Atrocities: The Place of Horrific Human Rights Abuses in Presidential Persuasion Efforts’, Presidential Studies Quarterly, 37/2 (2007), pp. 181-202

22 George W. Bush; Address to Joint Session of Congress Following 9/11 Attacks, (Washington DC: White House Oval Office, 20/09/21)

23 Seumas Milne, ‘Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq’, 03/06/15, The Guardian

24 ‘Bliar’ placard; Brogan Morris, ‘The Chilcot Report Proves Tony Blair Is a Liar, But Why Is George Bush Getting A Pass on Iraq?’, 12/07/16, Paste Magazine Guy Faulconbridge, William James ‘Tony Blair tells UK voters - time is running out to stop Brexit folly’ 3/01/19 Reuters

25 Steve Richards; ‘Why did Tony Blair go to war in Iraq? That’s not even the right question’, 05/07/16, The Guardian

26 Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, (London: Pocket Books, 2004)

27 Jason Ralph, ‘After Chilcot: The ‘Doctrine of International Community’ and the UK Decision to Invade Iraq’, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 13/3 (2011), pp. 304-325

28 Ralph, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, p.124

29 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p. 275

30 Christoph Bluth, ‘The British Road to War: Blair, Bush and the Decision to Invade Iraq’, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), 80/5 (2004), pp. 871-892

31 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion

32 Sykes-Picot Agreement: 1916, The Avalon Project

33 Lubna S. El-Gendi, ‘Illusory Borders: The Myth of the Modern Nation-State and its Impact on the Repatriation of Cultural Artifacts’, The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law, 15/3 (2016), pp. 485-519

34 Michael J. Cohen, ‘Zionism and British imperialism II: Imperial financing in Palestine’, Journal of Israeli History, 30/2 (2011), pp. 115-139

35 Bryan R Gibson, Sold Out? US Foreign Policy, Iraq, The Kurds, And The Cold War (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 19-58

36 Abd al Jabar, The Gulf Between Us, p. 30

37 Ibid.

38 Anderson, Terry H; (2013). Bush's Wars (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p.28

39 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 139 of April 5, 1984

40 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p.28

41 Ibid.

42 Abd al Jabar, The Gulf Between Us, p.32

43 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p.32

44 Abd al Jabar, The Gulf Between Us, p.38

45 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, pp.34-35

46 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, pp.19-20

47 George H. W. Bush, Announces Suspension of Allied Offensive Combat Operations in the Persian Gulf, (Washington DC: White House Oval Office, 27/02/91)

48 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p.37-38

49 Irving Kristol, ‘The Neoconservative Persuasion’, 18/09/09, The Weekly Standard; "The Project For The New American Century", Web Archive - The Project For The New American Century, 2001

50 Kristol, The Weekly Standard

51 ‘Statement of Principles’ 3 June 1997, Project for the New American Century

52 ‘Letter to Clinton’, 26 January 1998, Project for the New American Century

53 George W. Bush, Address on Compassionate Conservatism, (California, 30/04/02)

54 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p.38

55 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p.36

56 Bluth, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), p.881

57 Ibid. p.871

58 Ibid. p.881

59 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p.33

60 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p.36

61 Bluth, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), p. 874

62 National Archives, Iraq options paper, October 3rd, 2002

63 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p.96

64 Iraq Liberation Act 1998; President Bush Texas 2002

65 ‘President Bush Delivers Graduation Speech At West Point’, George W Bush White House Archives

66 House of Commons, House of Commons debate (April 10, 2002, vol 383 col 125)

67 House of Commons, House of Commons debate (September 24 2002, vol 390 col 1)

68 House of Commons, House of Commons debate (February 25 2003, vol 113 col 643); October 2, 2002, Speech at the Labour Party Conference

69 House of Commons, House of Commons (18th March 2003, vol 401 col 758)

70 8 October 2002, see also Texas joint 2002 speech; ‘President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat’, George W Bush White House Archives

71 George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2003

72 Butler, Butler Report, paragraph p.285

73 Report of a committee of privy counsellors, Review of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, HC 898 (London: House of Commons, 2004) aka Butler report p.54 -- or find it direct Cabinet Ministerial Committee on Defence and Overseas Policy 1999:

74 George Bush in ‘Let UN team in or else, Bush warns Iraq’, Duncan Campbell in the Guardian, 27 Nov 2001

75 Tony Blair, State of the Union (2002)

76 Anderson, Bush’s Wars p.97

77 ‘President Bush, Prime Minister Blair Discuss Keeping the Peace Camp David’, G eorge W Bush White House Archives, 07/09/02; ‘Top Bush officials push case against Saddam’, 08/09/02, CNN /; ‘Bush: Don't wait for mushroom cloud’, 07/10/02, CNN

78 George Bush, Bush: ‘Leave Iraq within 48 hours’, 18/03/03

79 Bluth, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), p.874

80 ‘President Bush, Prime Minister Blair Hold Press Conference’, George W Bush White House Archives, 06/04/02

81 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p.108

82 ibid, p.100

83 Transcript of Interview with Vice-President Dick Cheney on Meet the Press, September 2002,

84 House of Commons, House of Commons debate (March 18th 2003, col 768)

85 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p.33

86 Tony Blair’s Speech to Parliament, (October 4 2001)

87 Butler, Butler Report, (paragraph 257); Texas 2002 speech

88 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p.23

89 Ibid, p.36

90 Bluth. C (2004) ‘The British Road to War: Blair, Bush and the decision to Invade Iraq’ International Affairs 80(5) p.886

91 Rutherford, Weapons of Mass Persuasion, p.39

92 ‘Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction: the assessment of the British government’ foreword by the Prime Minister (London: The Stationary Office, ID 114567 9/2002 776073), p.7

93 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p.98

94 Barstow. D (2004) ‘The Nuclear Card: The Aluminum Tube Story’ The New York Times, October 3

95 Blix. H ‘The Governing Security Council Resolutions’ The Security Council, January 27, 2003

96 Bush ‘State of the Union Address’ January 28, 2003

97 Ricketts. P Memorandum to Jack Straw, March 22, 2002

98 Straw. J, Downing Street Memo, July 23 2002

99 Ibid,

100 Anderson, Bush’s Wars, p.112

101 Ibid, pp.114-122

102 Ibid, p.122

103 Human Rights Watch, War In Iraq: Not A Humanitarian Intervention, 2004

104 ‘Wikileaks War Diaries’, Warlogs.Wikileaks.Org

105 ‘The ‘unknowns were knowable’ The Independent, 24/10/10

106 ‘Wikileaks War Diaries’, Warlogs.Wikileaks.Org

107 Elisabeth Bumiller, ‘Video Shows 2007 Air Attack In Baghdad That Killed Reuters Photographer’, New York Times, 2010.

108 Iraq Body Count, 2003-2019

109 Amy Hagopian and others, ‘Mortality In Iraq Associated With The 2003–2011 War And Occupation: Findings From A National Cluster Sample Survey By The University Collaborative Iraq Mortality Study’, Plos Medicine, 10.10 (2013).

110 Bush 'Leave Iraq within 48 hours' speech March 17, 2003

111 Anderson Bush’s Wars p.114

112 National Archives, Iraq options paper, October 3, 2002

113 Bush on the ropes: his awful deeds post 9/11, Sydney Morning Herald, (2 April, 2004)

114 Jane M. O. Sharp; ‘Tony Blair, Iraq and the Special Relationship: Poodle or Partner?’, International Journal, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Winter, 2003/2004), pp. 66.

115 Robin Cook; ‘Cook resigns from cabinet over Iraq’, Matthew Tempest, the Guardian, (March 17 2003)

116 Bluth, ‘The British Road to War’ p.891

117 Department of Trade, Iraq Meeting notes, p,2 [accessed 22/05/19]

118 Foreign Office, Economic Policy Department, Letter on Iraqi Energy, [accessed 13/05/19]

119 National Archives , ‘The report of the Iraq Enquiry’ p.461 the-report-of-the-iraq-inquiry_section-103.pdf [accessed 13/04/19]

120 The Telegraph, ‘Oil Giants Deny Planning’

121 Government Meeting papers, (27th April 2011) [accessed 29/04/19]

122 National Archives , ‘Report on the Iraq Enquiry’, p.461 the-report-of-the-iraq-inquiry_section-103.pdf [accessed 18/04/19]

123 House of Commons, House of Commons engagements, (December 15 2003, vol 397 col 673) [accessed 09/05/19]

124 Guardian, ‘Iraq Crisis’

125 Anderson, Bush's Wars, p.120

35 of 35 pages


In Search of Interest. How much hypocrisy was there in America and Britain's invasion of Iraq in 2003?
Queen Mary University of London
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search, interest, america, britain, iraq
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Maria Zed (Author), 2019, In Search of Interest. How much hypocrisy was there in America and Britain's invasion of Iraq in 2003?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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