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Photos: Memorable quotes from the war in Iraq


Twenty years after Iraq was invaded by a “coalition of the willing” led by the United States under former President George W. Bush, the devastation left by the long war that followed is still visible in parts of the country .

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died between 2003 and 2011 when coalition forces left the country, leaving behind an unstable situation and a country torn by sectarian strife.

In retrospect, some of the statements made as the US — strongly supported by its closest ally, the UK — tried to convince the world that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, along with others made as the war progressed, seem ironic today.

On September 24, 2002, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the British House of Commons that claims of weapons of mass destruction were true and that action in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein was absolutely necessary. He stated: “Of course there is no doubt that Iraq, the region and the whole world would be better off without Saddam.”

Bush shakes hands with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, his ally in launching a war against Iraq, at the White House in the US capital, Jan. 31, 2003 (J Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

The US entered the conflict confidently, as evidenced by comments by Donald Rumsfeld, then US Secretary of Defense on CBS Radio Connect, who said on November 14, 2002: “The Gulf War (Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait) in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I cannot tell you whether the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, five weeks or five months. But that will certainly not last longer.”

But the war dragged on as the Iraqis fought against the occupation and sectarian tensions were exacerbated by the circumstances.

Nearly six years later, on December 1, 2008, Bush told ABC’s World News program, “The greatest regret of the entire presidency must have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. Many people put their reputation on the line and said that weapons of mass destruction are a reason to remove Saddam Hussein.”

Here are some other notable quotes from the war on Iraq, some illustrating what happened while others underline the futility of the war.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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