Those who talk about the Second Iraq War, The WMD War, seem to have forgotten that the war began during Bill Clinton's administration rather than George W. Bush's administration.
Clinton began the war late in 1998 either because he didn't think
Saddam Hussein was adequately cooperating with U.N. weapons
inspectors or to distract attention from his impeachment. The
bombing of Iraq was just as much a declaration of war as Japan's
bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 had been a Japanese declaration of
war against the United States. American bombing of Iraqi
targets continued after 1998 in areas designated "no fly zones" for
Iraqi aircraft. The U.S. was still at war with Iraq on
9/11/2001. It is for this reason that it was logical for
President Bush to ask if Iraq might have been responsible for
Regardless of the reason for the attack, Clinton's request
that the inspectors leave so they wouldn't be hurt by the bombing
meant Saddam no longer had to worry about U.N. inspectors exposing
any work on Weapons of Mass Destruction. The rest of the
world had no way of knowing if he started rebuilding his nerve gas
stockpile or developing other WMD.
After the 9/11 attack demonstrated the total inadequacy of western
intelligence about the Muslim world, President George W, Bush and
British Prime Minister Tony Blair developed a legitimate concern
that Saddam Hussein might have redeveloped, or even expanded, his
WMD programs. They also had to take seriously rumors
that Hussein might form an alliance with America's new enemy al
Qaeda. It is common for those who face a common enemy to
President Bush began an effort to restart the U.N. weapons
inspections, but Iraq resisted. When Iraq finally
allowed inspectors in, they found that in the time after the
inspector's departure in 1998 and their return in 2003 Iraq had
acquired rockets that it was illegal for Iraq to have as well as
nerve gas shells that had not yet been loaded.
Bush once again tried to get adequate assurances about inspections
and destruction of any weapons programs. Because of the
climate in Iraq the United States had only a small amount of time to
take military action before weather conditions would have inhibited
military action. When Bush could not get adequate
assurances he had to order the invasion of Iraq.
The invasion discovered evidence of WMD
programs in Iraq. CNN reported
in June, 2003, that parts and plans for a nuclear gas centrifuge
had been found under a rose bush.
Richard Miniter in his book, "Disinformation" lists the following as
of WMD related discoveries.
"• Found: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium
• Found: 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons
• Found: Roadside bomb loaded with sarin gas
• Found: 1,000 radioactive materials--ideal for radioactive dirty
• Found: 17 chemical warheads--some containing cyclosarin, a nerve
agent five times more powerful than sarin."