Iraq War Rationale: Version 10.0

In the year since the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration has repeatedly shifted its justification for going to war and constantly changed its story on intelligence, the United Nations, reconstruction, political transition and the cost to the American taxpayer. More than anything, the administration's war in Iraq resembles a software program that, at first, works brilliantly, but then catches the user in a cycle of "fatal error" messages.

Here then, in Silicon Valley terms, is a review of the Bush administration's year in Iraq:

Saddam Hussein poses an 'imminent threat' to the American people.

Foreign Policy In Focus

  • Version 1.0 - Saddam Hussein is an imminent threat 
  • Version 1.01 - Saddam Hussein is a gathering threat
  • Version 1.02 - Saddam Hussein poses a real and dangerous threat
  • Version 1.1 - The smoking gun will be a mushroom cloud
  • Version 1.2 - We can't afford to wait
  • Version 1.3 - We never said imminent
  • Version 1.3.1 - OK, maybe we did say it once or twice
  • Version 1.4 - We should have been more precise

Saddam Hussein is ready to use weapons of mass destruction.

  • Version 2.1 - Saddam has weapons of mass destruction
  • Version 2.2 - Saddam has nuclear weapons
  • Version 2.3 - Saddam has biological agents he's never accounted for
  • Version 2.3.1 - The trailers are mobile labs for producing chemical weapons
  • Version 2.3.2 - Unmanned aircraft are ready to spread Saddam's biological weapons
  • Version 2.4 - Saddam's going to make more of all these weapons
  • Version 2.5 - We all know where the weapons are
  • Version 2.5.1 - Well, Saddam has used weapons of mass destruction
  • Version 2.5.2 - Iraq is a big country. We'll find the weapons eventually
  • Version 2.5.3 - Saddam had weapons of mass destruction programs
  • Version 2.5.4 - Saddam had "weapons of mass destruction program related activities"
  • Version 2.5.5 - David Kay? Who's David Kay?
  • Version 2.6 - It's not about misleading the American people - Saddam Hussein is gone and that's the most important thing

The intelligence is clear.

  • Version 3.0 - We based our statements on our available intelligence
  • Version 3.1 - Saddam tried to buy uranium ore in Niger
  • Version 3.1.2 - Well, that was what the British told us
  • Version 3.1.3 - Did we tell you about Joe Wilson's wife?
  • Version 3.1.4 - Do you know a good lawyer?
  • Version 3.2 - The intelligence is absolutely clear
  • Version 3.2.1 - Intelligence is never 100 percent certain
  • Version 3.2.2 - We didn't manipulate the intelligence
  • Version 3.3 - There was no consensus within the intelligence community
  • Version 3.3.1 - We saw the same intelligence the last Administration did

Saddam Hussein has deep ties to al Qaeda.

  • Version 4.0 - Saddam has long-standing ties to al Qaeda
  • Version 4.0.1 - You can't distinguish between Saddam and al Qaeda
  • Version 4.0.2 - There is an al Qaeda terrorist network in Iraq
  • Version 4.0.3 - Saddam has provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.
  • Version 4.0.4 - Saddam will give his weapons to al Qaeda
  • Version 4.0.5 - Colin Powell: I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection [between al Qaeda and Iraq]
  • Version 4.0.6 - Vice President Cheney: I still believe there's a connection.
  • Version 4.0.7 - CIA Director George Tenet: I told Dick not to say that.

The United Nations just can't handle this.

  • Version 5.0 - The UN had 12 years to deal with this
  • Version 5.1 - We don't trust the UN to handle this
  • Version 5.1.1 - We don't need the UN's help
  • Version 5.1.2 - The UN should play a vital, but not central role
  • Version 5.1.3 - You there, UN, tell Ayatollah Sistani that elections aren't possible
  • Version 5.1.4 - UN, please oversee the election process
  • Version 5.1.5 - Pretty please? We'll pay our dues

The war in Iraq won't hurt our efforts in Afghanistan or the hunt for Bin Laden.

  • Version 6.0 - Iraq won't affect our hunt for bin Laden
  • Version 6.1 - Assets have been moved from Afghanistan to Iraq
  • Version 6.1.1 - Assets are being returned to Afghanistan
  • Version 6.2 - We're mounting a spring offensive against bin Laden
  • Version 6.2.1 - We'll catch bin Laden this year
  • Version 6.2.2 - We hope to catch bin Laden this year
  • Version 6.3 - Even if we catch bin Laden, the threat will still exist.

Mission accomplished.

  • Version 7.0 - We won't need hundreds of thousands of troops - that's wildly off the mark 
  • Version 7.1 - Mission accomplished 
  • Version 7.1.1 - We'll stay as long as needed and not one day more 
  • Version 7.1.2 - The troops will be home in six months
  • Version 7.1.3 - The Iraqi Army will provide security 
  • Version 7.1.4 - Where's the Iraqi Army?
  • Version 7.1.5 - We've disbanded the Iraqi Army
  • Version 7.1.3 - The troops will stay a year and be replaced
  • Version 7.2 - We're training the Iraqi army - Iraqification will work
  • Version 7.2.1 - We don't need any more American troops
  • Version 7.2.2 - Well, maybe we do
  • Version 7.2.3 - We're keeping 30,000 more troops on active duty than were authorized
  • Version 7.2.4 - We don't know if this increase in troops is a spike or a plateau
  • Version 7.2.5 - We're establishing stop loss so troops can't leave
  • Version 7.2.6 - The Army is planning multi-year rotations

The cost to the American taxpayer.

  • Version 8.0 - Economic advisor Larry Lindsey: The war will cost $200 billion
  • Version 8.0.1 - President Bush: You're fired!
  • Version 8.1 - The war will pay for itself very quickly
  • Version 8.1.1 - Iraqi oil revenue will pay for reconstruction
  • Version 8.2 - Our allies will help us
  • Version 8.3 - We'll pay for the war through supplementals
  • Version 8.3.1 - Congress wouldn't let us put it in the budget
  • Version 8.3.2 - Can we please have $87 billion?
  • Version 8.3.3 - Well, we really can't calculate what it will cost...
  • Version 8.3.4 - Well, maybe we can - $50 billion may be on the low side
  • Version 8.3.5 - Ask us after November 2...

Democracy comes to Iraq.

  • Version 9.0 - We will be greeted as liberators
  • Version 9.0.1 - We'll establish democracy in Iraq
  • Version 9.1 We'll turn this back to the Iraqis quickly
  • Version 9.1.1 - President Chalabi will be welcomed with open arms
  • Version 9.1.2 - Well, not so fast - we're prohibiting political parties
  • Version 9.2 - We have the November 15 agreement - it's unchangeable
  • Version 9.2.1 - We will appoint a small governing council
  • Version 9.2.2 - Well, maybe a larger one
  • Version 9.3 - We don't favor elections
  • Version 9.3.1 - Caucuses work in Iowa, why not Iraq?
  • Version 9.3.2 - OK fine, we'll have elections
  • Version 9.4 - We can't return sovereignty until there is a constitution
  • Version 9.4.1 - Never mind, we'll turn over sovereignty first
  • Version 9.4.2 - We need to return this to the Iraqis - How about June 30?
  • Version 9.4.3 - We're still focused on elections - the ones on November 2

The bottom line.

Version 10.0 - Trust us. We know what we're doing

P.J. Crowley is senior fellow and director of national defense and homeland security and Robert O. Boorstin is senior vice president of national security at the Center for American Progress.

Source: Center for American Progress

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Older Comments:
Sheer nonsence,as is your "About Us" representation of who you are.
Just as Silicon Valley, you seem constrained by the "finite" and not able to think in the abstract. Or is your political agenda showing.

Step back and try to think with a forward looking historical perspective. You should be able to see that Bush is a lot closer to being right than most of the worlds leaders and pundits.

I wish you could do a similar time line for the Bush administration's actions in regard to environmental and domestic social issues.

Mr. Cameron:

"America does not seek to intentionally inflict harm on innocent people in order to scare our enemies. America seeks to target and eliminate specific threats to our interests. As I stated, America is not a bully."

Look, I understand why you may make this claim - these words are the only words you hear from the mouths of your politicians who carry your country. However, I see very little logic in these words. You say that America seeks to target and elimate "specific threats". Firstly, I don't agree that America as a whole is in it. So let me restate; you say that the current US Administration seeks to target and eliminate "specific threats". I, for the life of me, do not see how Saddam and Iraq could have been threats - ? Please enlighten me (without using your politician's words, as you can see from this article that would be futile). It is not like Saddam ATTEMPTED to bomb America in the recent past, nor does he have any Al-Qaeda link, nor...(please refer to the article for more points).

So you see, I, and MANY others, fail to see how Iraq could have been a threat. As such, I, and MANY others, will not accept your claim that America targets "specific threats", as Iraq was not a threat (again, refer to the article to see the outcome of that claim).

Now, Mr. Cameron, can you please provide me with an American approved, CIA approved, Condoleeza Rice approved, statistic detailing the body count of US soldiers vs.Iraqi soldiers (read Iraqi terrorists if you are an American) vs. Iraqi civilians (potential terrorists) vs. Sept. 11 American civilians? You will see where I am getting with this.

Mr. Cameron, the problem is that the U.S. administration has rewritten the definition for "terrorist", and in their own ethnocentric ways, the public accepted it. Thus, people like yourself have trouble accepting your state being called "terrorist" from non-Americans (terrorists?), when clearly she commits "terroristic" activities

Dear Canucker,

As you can see, the hatred of the one who calls himself Nick Cameron outweighs the truth of your claim. He is making excuses for himself about the invasion of Iraq, even though he didn't want it as he says. The stark irony of his statement is that Iraq had nothing to do with extremist violence before the Americans invaded and now occupy it. This was due to the removal of security along it's borders, and they now live amongst Iraqi's. Now is Iraq some sort of battleground for Americans where innocent people have to die in order for American people to show that they are ready to fight? This is the mentality of a free this how Americans think they can spread freedom, invading countries that have nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11/01? The only connection that the artist formerly known as Nick can draw between the so called Al Qaeda attackers of 9/11 with Iraq, is the fact that Iraq is a Muslim country.

Indeed, the Bush administration is enforcing state sponsored terrorism all around the world, through illegal military intervention when they bypassed the world leaders and are now scrounging for international support. One by one we will see other leaders after Spain, bow out of this belief that Saddam was an imminent threat, and Bush's recent remarks in his speech last night where he tried to convince the media that ocean's don't exist between America and the East.

To quote George W. Bush from last night when he was asked what his explanation is, if no WMD's were found, then how was Iraq an imminent threat to the USA when WMD's were used at the pretext to go to war?

Bush responded:
" A..ahh...uh..ehh the fact of the matter is...ahh ehh uhhh Ocean's can't protect us, ahh ehh uhh and Saddam Hussain posed a threat to our ehhh uhh, nation."

This is America's ehh uhh, head of state.

it is better to be wise, than otherwise is more like it. Good job Canucker.


The reason why you can conclude from my statement that America is a "terrorist state" is that you did not include the entire quote. Here it is:

"I opposed going to war in Iraq last year, and I still think it was a bad idea to invade. But the one good thing that came out of it is that all the world, especially our enemies, know that we're ready for a fight, any place and anytime. This will make extremists think twice before ever shedding blood on our soil again for fear of more blowback from our government. America is not a bully, but recent history shows us that it's better to be thought a bully than to be viewed as weak."

There is a distinction between a true terrorist state and the U.S. government. America does not seek to intentionally inflict harm on innocent people in order to scare our enemies. America seeks to target and eliminate specific threats to our interests. As I stated, America is not a bully. Furthermore, America does not want to be a bully. Nonetheless, history has shown us all that it is safer for American to be thought a bully than it is to be thought weak. If you don't agree, then I refer you to OBL's comments in a 1998 interview:

To Mr. Cameron:

To quote you:

"'s better to be thought a bully than to be viewed as weak..."

If that is what America's views are, then for SURE they can be classified a terrorist state. Would you like to reconsider what you just said?

Blowback - unintended negative consequences of policies

The more I think about it, the more I believe that the recent war in Iraq was blowback from 9/11. After all, before 9/11 the country was averse to the idea of committing our military overseas in any prolonged conflict. But OBL sought to instill fear into our hearts. He accused America of being a "paper tiger" unwilling to engage in a fight when casualties rise. That's why he thought that sending 19 of his operatives armed with boxcutters to kill thousands of our people would make America buckle and beg for mercy.

And this attitude was not unique. Many in the Muslim world actually believed that our troops were too soft and would never put up much of a fight. I remember encountering this sentiment personally when I lived in a Muslim country.

I opposed going to war in Iraq last year, and I still think it was a bad idea to invade. But the one good thing that came out of it is that all the world, especially our enemies, know that we're ready for a fight, any place and anytime. This will make extremists think twice before ever shedding blood on our soil again for fear of more blowback from our government. America is not a bully, but recent history shows us that it's better to be thought a bully than to be viewed as weak.

Assalamu alaikum.
Here is a patch for all flaws in the programs:

"Allah will not speak to three people on the day of resurrection nor would He purify or look at them. They will receive grievious punishment: An old man guilty of adultery, an UNTHRUTHFUL king and a poor person who is proud" - Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

To uninstall all the programs and permanently delete all unwanted files consider this:

"When We decide to destroy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet transgress; so that the word is proved true against them: then (it is) We destroy them utterly" - Quran 17.16

I am not an IT man but I believe these will work fine.


I wish I could laugh at the irony, but it's too sad. Sad for our children(soldiers).Sad for Iraq's children. Sad that we (Americans)would vote such greed into office. Sad that our government's idea of freedom is only "our way or no way" If only politicians could understand that "freedom" for people is freedom to live a basic life,go to work,go to school,pray as you wish,if you wish,feed your family,love your family,house your family.Political systems all can accomplish this if they concern themselves with their own people's problems and shortcoming's first and foremost.When they worry more about someone else's business before taking care of their own.They create more problems than they solve.When they believe their form of government is better than anyone else's or worse! their religion is the only true faith, the world comes to the pain it's experiencing now. If we all spend "all" our time making ourselves,our families and our countries into the world we dream about, instead of trying to change the world to our version of life,we could suddenly awake to find the world a paradise.

As a Tech Support rep, this article hits home, except I kinda expect our leaders to have a little more foresight than our developers and designers. Unfortunately, the bug reports mean that people are dying.

We so need to recall this software.


This is a good article. This gives me an opportunity to comment on something not of silicone but of a human nature. First, Spain has a history of good tidings coming from the Islamic world; and the government displayed its kindness by the "Inquisition".

Spain also acted upon the invasion of Iraq as all western governments have learned to do. "Let the people protest. As they do, we the government, will do what we like anyway. This happened in Spain, America, Britain and all countries that supported the invasion of Iraq. Its not the people who are at fault here but the governments- elected or otherwise

As for terrorism, it has been schizophrenically defined by the West. Formal president Regan called the Contras who he organized to fight against the popular and already installed government of Nicaragua "those brave freedom fighter". The Israelis, with their grandiose ideal of a greater Israel, invaded Lebanon. What was the US doing there in Lebanon? Hezbollah saw themselves as freedom fighters and viewed the US and Israelis as invaders- and by definition they were. Why didn't America invade the Soviet Union when it invaded Afghanistan? Why didn't the US invade Iraq when it- unprovoked- invaded Iran? Why did the US simply turn its back on the terror in central Africa (Hutu and Tutsis genocide)?

Out of the above acts of terrorism, America only involved itself where Israel is concern. Does it take a rocket scientist to see the schizophrenia nature within the US government? This includes the Senate, the Executive branch, Congress both liberals and conservatives. They all need to revisit the definition of terrorism.

We all know, as we were taught in secondary school the "Boston Tea Party" was an act of defiance against occupation and not terrorism. But Hezbollah, Hamas, and the people of Iraq fighting against US occupation are "Terrorist".

Within American we have waged a war on poverty, drugs, crime, and lost terribly. Now a global w

This article was sad. Now I don't know what was more saddening: the state of the American people and their ignorance to all this or the Bush Administration's deceptive propaganda itself. What I mean is, within one year, all this has happened, and the authors cleverly document the general reactions of the US administration. Yet, I would say that the general American public will have bought into the administration's propaganda, and not see the serious flaw in their government. Ofcourse the flaw is composed of more than just the president.

On a side, light note: point 4.0.7 was humorous - reflecting the uncertainty and deceptiveness of the Bush administration.

This article is really succinct. I will share it with as many as I can.

Version 1.0 was so badly flawed that the whole project should have been strapped; and the U.N. should have been allowed to finish a job well done- when it was actually allowed to do it. This gives me the opportunity to speak on another flawed application- not in Silicon but in Human terms.

I found it appalling to see a dear mother on the evening news, a picture of her son in hand, asking God to protect him while he is in Iraq. Understandably, she is concern for the safety of her son; but the network played up the human side of her over the ten thousand Iraqis who have been murdered by people like her son because of little boy Bush.

It is also interesting to me how some people approach prayer. "give us this day our daily bread". Even little Bush doing the Easter holiday said, "I pray every day that there are less casualties but I know what we are doing in Iraq is right". If Bush had any ideal what he was doing he would have never attempted to term the invasion of Kuwait- to remove Saddam Hussein "Infinite Justice". History has proven that humans without Allah (God) cannot be just. And prayer should be to Allah- not to ask Him for something already given to us. Allah gives us sons and daughters and He can take them away- and to him we shall return.

Our prayer should be for peace and unity- not for life. We have already received it.

Funny, accurate, and revealing

Super - my thoughts exactly!