between september 2001 and october 2002, check george w. bush, dick cheney,richard perle, colin powell, condoleezza rice, donald rumsfeld paul wolfowitz, tom daschle, joseph lieberman and john mccain came up with no fewer than 21 reasons to go to war with iraq. the foreign policy article gives you a handy graphic representation. i’m going to put them on the text record here:
1. to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
2. for regime change.
3. to further the war on terror.
4. because of iraq’s violation of united nations resolutions.
5. because of saddam hussein’s evil dictatorship and actions.
6. because of a lack of weapons inspections in iraq.
7. to liberate iraq.
8. because of iraq’s ties to al qaeda.
9. because iraq was an imminent threat.
10. to disarm iraq.
11. to conclude the gulf war of 1991.
12. because hussein was a threat to the region.
13. for the safety of the world.
14. to support the united nations.
15. because the united states could (easy victory).
16. to preserve peace around the world.
17. because iraq was a unique threat.
18. to transform the region.
19. as a warning to other terrorist nations.
20. because hussein hates the united states and will act against it.
21. because history calls the united states to action.
with hindsight, it seems that we’ve pretty much settled on #18 for now. interestingly, this justification seems to have been presented only by richard perle back in the day.