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November 18, 2005
A Brief History of a Long War (Iraq, 1990-2003) / 2000-2003By Greyhawk
November 2000: US presidential elections, Republican George W Bush defeats Democrat Vice President Al Gore.
Jan. 1, 2001: U.S. aircraft launch two attacks on Iraqi radar sites in the southern no-fly zone.
Jan. 16, 2001: U.S. and British aircraft launch attacks on five air defense sites both in the southern no-fly zone and in the central area of Iraq. Some two dozen aircraft participate.
Jan. 20, 2001: U.S. aircraft launch attacks on radar systems and anti-aircraft guns in the southern no-fly zone. All coalition aircraft depart the area safely.
Jan. 24, 2001: Iraqi forces launch SAM and fire anti-aircraft artillery from sites north of Mosul while ONW aircraft conduct routine enforcement of the northern no-fly zone. Coalition aircraft respond to the Iraqi attacks by dropping ordnance on elements of the Iraqi integrated air defense system.
Jan. 28, 2001: U.S. aircraft strike Iraqi SAM sites in the southern no-fly zone "following recent Iraqi violations of UN Security Council resolutions."
Jan. 29, 2001: As the Bush administration settles in to the White House, the Washington Post opines:
...of all the booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous -- or more urgent -- than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade's efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf," including "intelligence photos that show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons."Sept. 11, 2001: Terrorists attack New York City and Washington, D.C. Among other grievances, al Qaeda cites the presence of US forces on Saudi soil (enforcing the southern no-fly zone) as justification for the attack.
October 7, 2001: US and British forces began an aerial bombing campaign targeting Taliban forces and al-Qaeda. By December the Taliban government of Afghanistan had collapsed as US and Afghan "Northern Alliance" forces rapidly overran the country.
Dec. 5, 2001: "There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." - Letter to President Bush, Signed by Joe Lieberman (D-CT), John McCain (R-AZ) and others.
January 29, 2002: President Bush accuses Iraq of being part of an international "axis if evil" during his State of the Union address.
May 14, 2002: The UN Security Council revamps the sanctions against Iraq, now eleven years old, replacing them with "smart sanctions" meant to allow more civilian goods to enter the country while at the same time more effectively restricting military and dual-use equipment (military and civilian).
June 2, 2002: President Bush publicly introduces the new defense doctrine of preemption in a speech at West Point. In some instances, the president asserts, the U.S. must strike first against another state to prevent a potential threat from growing into an actual one: "Our security will require all Americans...[to] be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives." But where previous confrontations with Iraq were invariably focused on weapons of mass destruction, now another element of the war on terror is frequently expressed:
This war will take many turns we cannot predict. Yet I am certain of this: Wherever we carry it, the American flag will stand not only for our power, but for freedom. Our nation's cause has always been larger than our nation's defense. We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace -- a peace that favors human liberty. We will defend the peace against threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.September 4, 2002: "If we wait for the [Iraq] danger to become clear, it could be too late." -Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del) "Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States." -Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
Sept. 12, 2002: President Bush accuses Iraq of failing to live up to its obligations to the U.N. during an address to the General Assembly: "We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left? The history, the logic, and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger."
September 19, 2002: "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." - Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI),
September 23, 2002: "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." - Al Gore
September 23, 2002: "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore
September 27, 2002: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA),
October 3, 2002: "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." - Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV),
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), October 9, 2002
October 10, 2002: "It is clear that military operations against Saddam Hussein, of the sort that are being discussed, pose serious risks, and we should all admit that. Any military campaign runs very serious risks to our servicemembers.
"...Presumably Saddam Hussein will be more determined to use all the weapons and tactics in his arsenal if he believes our ultimate goal is to remove him from power.
"The Administration assures us our troops have equipment and uniforms that will protect them from that risk, should it arise. We can only hope to God they are right.
"We also have to acknowledge that any military operations against Saddam Hussein pose potential risks to our own homeland, too. Saddam's government has contact with many international terrorist organizations that likely have cells here in the United States.
"When Saddam Hussein obtains nuclear capabilities, the constraints he feels will diminish dramatically, and the risk to America's homeland, as well as to America's allies, will increase even more dramatically. Our existing policies to contain or counter Saddam will become irrelevant." - Senator Jay Rockefeller (D, WV)
October 10, 2002: "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.
It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Senator Hillary Clinton (D, NY),
October 2002: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein "reelected with 100% of the vote".
November 2002: US "mid-term" elections.
Nov. 8, 2002: U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 says Iraq "remains in material breach of its obligations" under various U.N. resolutions and gives the country "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament" commitments.
Nov. 27, 2002: UNMOVIC and IAEA inspections begin again in Iraq, almost four years after the departure of inspectors prior to Operation Desert Fox.
Dec. 7, 2002: Iraq delivers a 12,000-page WMD report to the U.N. in response to Resolution 1441. U.N. chief inspector Hans Blix says the information provided by Iraq is largely recycled material.
December 8, 2002: "We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL)
Dec. 21, 2002: President Bush approves the deployment of U.S. troops to the Gulf region. By March an estimated 200,000 troops will be stationed there. British and Australian troops will join them over the coming months.
Jan. 9, 2003: UNMOVIC's Hans Blix and the IAEA's Director General Mohamed ElBaradei report their findings to the U.N. Security Council. Blix says inspectors have not found any "smoking guns" in Iraq. John Negroponte, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., says: "There is still no evidence that Iraq has fundamentally changed its approach from one of deceit to a genuine attempt to be forthcoming in meeting the council's demand that it disarm."
January 23. 2003: "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA)
Jan. 28, 2003: In his State of the Union address address, President Bush declares that the US will not wait until Iraq becomes an imminent threat to the US:
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.February 5, 2003: "Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations." -Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Feb. 5, 2003: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell goes in person to the U.N. to make the case against Iraq.
Feb. 14, 2003: The IAEA's ElBaradei and chief weapons inspector Blix report to the U.N. Security Council on Iraqi cooperation in the search for WMD. They say they have not discovered any biological, chemical or nuclear weapons activities. Proscribed missile programs are discovered and disabled. Blix does express frustration with Iraq's failure to account for its vast stores of chemical and biological agents it was known to have at one point. Blix says: "This is perhaps the most important problem we are facing. Although I can understand that it may not be easy for Iraq in all cases to provide the evidence needed, it is not the task of the inspectors to find it."
That same day Colin Powell again addresses the United Nations Security Council: "1441 is about disarmament and compliance and not merely a process of inspections that goes on forever without ever resolving the basic problem."
Feb. 22, 2003: Hans Blix orders Iraq to destroy its Al Samoud 2 missiles by March 1. The UN inspectors have determined that the missiles have an illegal range limit. Iraq can have missiles that reach neighboring countries, but not ones capable of reaching Israel.
Feb. 24, 2003: The U.S., Britain, and Spain submit a proposed resolution to the UN Security Council that states that "Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity afforded to it in Resolution 1441," and that it is now time to authorize use of military force against the country. France, Germany, and Russia submit an informal counter-resolution to the UN Security Council that states that inspections should be intensified and extended to ensure that there is "a real chance to the peaceful settlement of this crisis," and that "the military option should only be a last resort."
March 1, 2003: Iraq begins to destroy its Al Samoud missiles.
7 March 2003: Powell once again addresses the Security Council: "-"The intent of the Iraqi regime to keep from
March 17, 2003: Remarks by President George Bush in an Address to the Nation
"All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing. For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and inspectors, should leave Iraq immediately."March 20, 2003: The U.S. military and other members of an American-led coalition invade Iraq.
Posted by Greyhawk / November 18, 2005 9:52 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
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Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com