|Bush administration officials and their hawkish supporters now say they
never promised an easy war -- but the record shows otherwise.
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March 28, 2003 | Richard Perle, recently resigned chairman of the Defense
Policy Board, in a PBS interview July 11, 2002:
"Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know
he's got about a third of what he had in 1991."
"But it's a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no
underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military
organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder. "
Ken Adelman, former U.N. ambassador, in an Op-Ed for the Washington Post,
Feb. 13, 2002:
"I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be
a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk
last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger;
and (4) now we're playing for keeps.
Vice President Dick Cheney, on NBC's "Meet the Press" March 16:
"The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but that they
want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the
United States when we come to do that."
"My guess is even significant elements of the Republican Guard are likely as
well to want to avoid conflict with the U.S. forces and are likely to step
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on
CNN March 23:
"The course of this war is clear. The outcome is clear. The regime of Saddam
Hussein is gone. It's over. It will not be there in a relatively reasonably
predictable period of time."
"And the people in Iraq need to know that: that it will not be long before
they will be liberated."
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, in a speech to the Veterans of
Foreign Wars March 11:
"Over and over, we hear reports of Iraqis here in the United States who
manage to communicate with their friends and families in Iraq, and what they
are hearing is amazing. Their friends and relatives want to know what is
taking the Americans so long. When are you coming?"
"In a meeting last week at the White House, one of these Iraqi-Americans
said, 'A war with Saddam Hussein would be a war for Iraq, not against
"The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of
France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator. They know
that America will not come as a conqueror. Our plan -- as President Bush has
said -- is to 'remain as long as necessary and not a day more.'"
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a breakfast
meeting March 4, 2003:
"What you'd like to do is have it be a short, short conflict. The best way
to do that is have such a shock on the system, the Iraqi regime would have
to assume early on the end is inevitable."
Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair writer, in a debate Jan. 28, 2003:
"This will be no war -- there will be a fairly brief and ruthless military
intervention. "The president will give an order. [The attack] will be rapid,
accurate and dazzling ... It will be greeted by the majority of the Iraqi
people as an emancipation. And I say, bring it on."