Congress Prepares Public Opinion for War Against Iraq

August 4, 2002

On July 31-August 1, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held public hearings on U.S. policy towards Iraq and the possibility of the U.S. starting a war.

In opening the hearings, Joseph Biden, a Democrat and chairman of the Committee, admitted that the purpose was to help prepare public opinion for war. Biden said: "I believe a foreign policy, especially one that involves the use of force, cannot be sustained in America without the informed consent of the American people. . . If the right case is made, I think [Bush] would get an overwhelming positive response to it." During the hearings a parade of "experts" all pointed out that the Iraqi government posed a threat to the region and even to the U.S. Even though no proof was provided, the experts insisted that because of Saddam Hussein’s alleged build up of weapons of mass destruction a 'regime change' was needed. During the week of the hearings, Bush also again asserted that “regime change” in Iraq by “any means” remained official U.S. policy.

At the Senate hearings, the experts offered a variety of different tactics and scenarios for toppling the Iraqi government, including several plans for “blitz warfare” and long term U.S. occupation of the country.