What Did Bush Decide and When Did He Decide It?
The Downing Street Memo reported that in a July 23, 2002 meeting between Prime Minister Blair and his war cabinet, attendees of the meeting discussed the fact that President Bush had already made up his mind to attack Iraq. According to the minutes of the meeting:
“There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action.”
Yet, as the record below proves, President Bush claimed over and over after July 23rd until the war began that he had not made up his mind.
Bush: “Of course, I haven’t made up my mind we’re going to war with Iraq.” [10/1/02]
Bush:“Hopefully, we can do this peacefully – don’t get me wrong. And if the world were to collectively come together to do so, and to put pressure on Saddam Hussein and convince him to disarm, there’s a chance he may decide to do that. And war is not my first choice, don’t – it’s my last choice.” [11/7/02]
Bush: “This is our attempt to work with the world community to create peace. And the best way for peace is for Mr. Saddam Hussein to disarm. It’s up to him to make his decision.” [12/4/02]
Bush: “You said we’re headed to war in Iraq – I don’t know why you say that. I hope we’re not headed to war in Iraq. I’m the person who gets to decide, not you. I hope this can be done peacefully.” [12/31/02]
Bush: “First of all, you know, I’m hopeful we won’t have to go war, and let’s leave it at that.” [1/2/03]
Bush: “But Saddam Hussein is – he’s treated the demands of the world as a joke up to now, and it was his choice to make. He’s the person who gets to decide war and peace.” [2/7/03]
Bush:“I’ve not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this can be done peacefully.” [3/6/03]
Bush: “I want to remind you that it’s his choice to make as to whether or not we go to war. It’s Saddam’s choice. He’s the person that can make the choice of war and peace.” [3/6/03]
Bush: “We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force.” [3/8/03]
Bush: “Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it.” [3/17/03]