Key Quotes
relating to the Iraq War/Occupation

(including occasion of quote, and actual or approximate date with a link to a published source)
  1. General John Abizaid, former CENTCOM Commander
    Panel discussion at Stanford  (10/15/07)
    "Of course it's about oil, we can't really deny that..."

  2. George W. Bush, President of the United States
    Prime time national press conference,  (4/13/2004, video)
    "They [Iraqis] are not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either."

  3. George W. Bush, Candidate for U.S. Presidency
    Many stump speeches, this one in Chattanooga, Tennessee,  (11/7/01: the day before the elections)
    "Let me tell you what else I'm worried about: I'm worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence. See, our view of the military is for our military to be properly prepared to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place."

  4. Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, chief Persian Gulf U.S. naval officer
    ABC News intereview  (5/28/08)
    War with Iraq would be "pretty disastrous," with "echoes and aftershocks" reverberating throughout the region. "Nobody I've spoken to suggests that going to war with Iran is a good thing. The preferred path by far is the diplomatic path, keep working with the international community to bring the right sort of pressure to bear on the Islamic Republic of Iran." With regards to incidents such as the January Revolutionary Guard boat incursions, his direction to sailors is "disciplined restraint: Don't allow yourself to be provoked by some local yokel. In the same breath, I say don't allow yourself to be successfully attacked."

  5. Admiral Eilliam Fallon, former CENTCOM Commander
    Quoted by source in private meeting  (3/08)
    An attack on Iran "will not happen on my watch. . . You know what choices I have. I'm a professional. . . There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box."

  6. Thomas Friedman, New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner
    Panel discussion at Stanford  (10/15/07)
    "We've treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations . . . Our message to them is: Guys, keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence that represents everything going on out back."

  7. Alan Greenspan, Former Federal Reserve Chairman
    In his book, Age of Turbulence  (9/07)
    "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

  8. Mary Beth Long, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense
    In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing discussing (among other things) permanent bases,  (4/10/08)
    "As far as the department is concerned, we don't have a worldwide or even a department-wide definition of permanent bases. I believe those are, by and large, determined on a case-by-case basis. . . . I think most lawyers . . . would say that the word 'permanent' probably refers more to the state of mind contemplated by the use[r?] of the term."

  9. General David Petraeus, Commander of U.S. forces in Iraq
    In response to a BBC interview question: Do you think you will ever use the word "victory"?,  (9/11/08)
    "I don't know that I will. I think that all of us at different times have recognized the need for real restraint in our assessments, in our pronouncements, if you will. And we have tried to be very brutally honest and forthright in what we have provided to Congress, to the press, and to ourselves ... This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory's not war with a simple slogan.   (video)

    [Note that the McCain/Palin campaign constantly refers to "victory" in Iraq, while Palin criticized Obama in her convention speech as follows:  "This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word 'victory' except when he's talking about his own campaign."]

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