Yves here. With the 20 year anniversary of sorts of the US invasion of Iraq, many analysts are focusing on why we launched the attack and what did it accomplish. If you were following the conflict closely at the time, it was noteworthy how many times the official justification for why we went in changed.
One part of the discussion that is often missed is that the US had long been gunning for this war. Scott Ritter recounts that as UN weapons inspector, he was sent in, IIRC in 1998, to deliver the demand that the Iraqis submit to an inspection of their Defense Ministry. No sovereign nation would normally submit to that.
But Ritter, who if not liked was nevertheless trusted by the Iraqis, persuaded them that the demand was a trap, that if Iraq refused, the US would depict that as proof they were up to no good
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