The motivation for the Iraq war dates back end of the Gulf war. At that time the Cheney-Wolfowitz-Libby team that later formed the core of the Iraq-War clique became extremely upset with how Bush senior ended the war without taking out Saddam Hussein. Here’s how that team migrated from Bush I to Bush II.
- Dick Cheney (Sect. of Defense) became Vice President
- Paul Wolfowitz (Undersecretary to Cheney) became Deputy to Rumsfeld
- “Scooter” Libby (Assistant to Wolfowitz) became assistant to Cheney
Donald Rumsfeld (foreign policy consultant to the State Dept.) became Secretary of Defense. There is no indication that he cared much about the Shiite massacre or Saddam remaining in power.
Secret (but leaked) 1992 Defense Planning Guidance
The neocons were not happy with the elder Bush’s end to the Gulf War. He encouraged the Shiites to rebel and then abandoned them to Saddam who massacred about 100,000 of them. Undoubtedly, the Bush policy left much to be desired. Reportedly Bush did not want to get into nation building and did not want Iraq fragmented into Shiite, Kurdish and Suni.
Wolfowitz was #3 at the Defense Department under Cheney at the time, andLibby was under Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz and Cheney were tasked with writing a new Defense Planning Guidance. A near-final draft was leaked, received bad press and buried. It contained the following points.
- The U.S. should prevent the emergence of a rival superpower.
- Undertake unilateral military actions.
- Be prepared to fight Iraq and North Korea simultaneously.