Sunday January 29, 2023
In fulfillment of his solemn, constitutionally-enshrined obligation, the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, on January 28, 2003, stood before the rostrum in the chambers of the United States Congress and addressed the American people.
“Mr. Speaker,” the President began, “Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens, every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. This year,” he intoned gravely, “we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.” The “decisive days” Bush spoke of dealt with the decision he had already made to invade Iraq, in violation of international law, for the purpose of removing the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, from power.
Regime change had been the cornerstone policy of the United States toward Iraq ever since Bush 43’s father, Bush 41 (George H. W. Bush) compared Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler and demanded Nuremberg-like justice for the crime of invading Kuwait. “Hitler revisited,” the elder Bush told a crowd at a Republican fundraiser in Dallas, Texas. “But remember: When Hitler’s war ended, there were the Nuremberg trials.”
American politicians, especially presidents seeking to take their country into war, cannot simply walk away from such statements. As such, even after driving the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait in February 1991, Bush could not rest so long as Saddam Hussein remained in power–the Middle East equivalent of Adolf Hitler had to go.