Remembrance Sunday Special: Remember the war of words

In Iraq, troops fight on as those who sent them beat an ignoble retreat
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The Independent Online

Then (September 2002)
What I believe the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.

Now (July 2004)

I have to accept that we have not found them and we may not find them. He [Saddam] may have removed or hidden or even destroyed those weapons.
Tony Blair, BRITISH PM

Then (May 2003)
Major combat operations in Iraq have ended ... the United States and our allies have prevailed. And Now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

Now (October 2006)
We cannot allow our dissatisfaction to turn into disillusionment about our purpose in this war.
George Bush US PRESIDENT

Then (March 2003)
We go to liberate, not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people ... show respect for them.

Now (October 2006)
Three years into the occupation, with no real improvement, it is time to admit failure ... British failure in Iraq may be seen by history as "ill-conceived and without enough effort".
Col Tim Collins FORMER BATTLE GROUP LEADER

Then (July 2002)
Support for Saddam including within his military will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder. It isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either.

Now (November 2006)
If I had ... seen where we are today ... I probably would have said, "Let's consider strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, Saddam supplying WMD to terrorists".
Richard Perle LEADING AMERICAN NEOCON

Then (March 2003)
It will mean enforcement of the will of the UN ... to make the world a better place for the removal of Saddam Hussein and ... make the world better for the Iraqis he oppresses.

Now (November 2006)
The thing was a disaster from the moment we invaded ... we need to understand why, why, why we were so mad as to attack without working out the consequences.
Boris Johnson MP AND EX-EDITOR, 'SPECTATOR'

Then (March 2003)
Iraqi lives saved by this military action will far exceed the number who, sadly, will be killed. It is a terrible calculation ... but one you have to make if there is to be a proper justification for military action.

Now (September 2006)
The current situation is dire. I think many mistakes were made after the military action - there is no question about it - by the US administration.
Jack Straw EX-FOREIGN SECRETARY

Then (August 2004)
Mr Blair has 18 months to show that Iraq is a success. If Iraq in 2006 looks very little better than under Saddam, Then the whole thing was a waste of lives, money and effort.

Now (October 2006)
There are only bad options for the coalition from Now on ... I never thought we would have produced the kind of mess in the post-invasion phase that has Now transpired.
Sir Jeremy Greenstock EX-AMBASSADOR TO UN

Then (March 2003)
From the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is that we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.

Now (October 2006)
It's been a little over three years Now since we went into Iraq, so I don't think it's surprising that people are concerned ... It's still very, very difficult, very tough.
Dick Cheney VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

Then (March 2003)
There is no doubt that the regime ... has weapons of mass destruction ... those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.

Now (December 2005)
No one was more surprised than I that we didn't find them. I suspect that the President of the United States probably had the same reaction that I did.
Gen Tommy Franks IRAQ INVASION COMMANDER

Then (March 2003)
Tony Blair has taken a brave decision, that the only hope of influencing American behaviour is to share in American actions.

Now (November 2006)
President Bush's achievement has been to convert an almost impregnable American position in the world after 9/11 into a grievously damaged one today.
Max Hastings HISTORIAN AND COLUMNIST

Then (January 2003)
Weapons of mass destruction have been a central pillar of Saddam's dictatorship since the 1980s. Iraq was found guilty 12 years ago. Yet they lied and lied again.

Now (January 2005)
Following the conclusions of the comprehensive report ... the Iraq Survey Group is no longer conducting an active programme of field investigations into weapons of mass destruction..
Geoff Hoon FORMER DEFENCE SECRETARY

Then (December 2002)
The goal is disarmament - the elimination of Iraq's [weapons] programmes... Disarming Saddam and fighting the war on terror are not merely related: the first is part of the second.

Now (June 2003)
The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was WMD as the core reason.
Paul Wolfowitz EX-DEPUTY US DEFENCE SECRETARY

Then (August 2002)
I will be blunt: demolishing Saddam's power and liberating Iraq militarily would be a cakewalk.

Now (October 2006)
What I would have said: that Bush's arguments are right, but ... you have to put them in the drawer marked "can't do" ... that's very different from "let's go" ... We're losing in Iraq.
Kenneth Adelman LEADING US HAWK

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