2.04.2007

Iraq War Timeline & '08 Presidential Candidates

January 29, 2002- In President Bush's State of the Union speech, he identifies Iraq, along with Iran and North Korea, as an “axis of evil.” He vows that the U.S. “will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.”

October 10, 2002- Congress adopts a joint resolution authorizing use of force against Iraq and gives the president authority to take preemptive, unilateral military action against Iraq, when and how he deems necessary.

’08 presidential candidates voting for the resolution:
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-NC)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

October 26, 2002- As a member of the Illinois legislature, State Senator Barack Obama, delivers a speech against going to War with Iraq. Obama draws a distinction between an essential war and a dumb war.

"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.”

December 10, 2002- International Human Rights Day, commemorated by more than 150 U.S. cities with action, rallies, and vigils opposing war against Iraq. One theme is, “Let the inspectors work.”

December 21, 2002- President Bush approves the deployment of U.S. troops to the Gulf region.

January 27, 2003- The UN Weapons Inspectors' formal report on Iraq is critical, though not damning.

January 27, 2003- Bush receives a letter signed by 130 members of the House of Representatives, urging him to “let the inspectors work.”

February 14, 2003- In a report to the UN, Hans Blix indicates progress has been made in Iraq's cooperation.

February 15, 2003- “The World Says No to War,” with massive peace demonstrations around the world, is the largest coordinated day of protest in world history, with more than 600 cities participating.

March 7, 2003- Hans Blix reports Iraq has accelerated its cooperation, but inspectors need more time to verify Iraq's compliance.

March 12, 2003- New York City passes a city council resolution opposing a preemptive/unilateral war against Iraq, joining more than 150 other U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

March 19, 2003- U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter statement: "I believe we will win this conflict in overwhelming fashion. "

April 3, 2003- U.S. Congress votes to fund the war. ’08 presidential candidates voting for the resolution:
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-NC)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

Feb. 24–March 14, 2003- The United States and Great Britain's intense lobbying efforts among UN Security Council members yields support only from Spain and Bulgaria. Since nine votes (and no vetoes from the five permanent members) out of fifteen are required for the resolution's passage, the United States decides not to call for a vote on the resolution.

March 17, 2003- Great Britain's ambassador to the UN says the diplomatic process on Iraq has ended. Arms inspectors evacuate. President Bush gives Saddam Hussein and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war.

March 19, 2003- Invasion of Iraq begins when the United States launches Operation Iraqi Freedom. Called a “decapitation attack,” the initial air strike of the war targets Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders in Baghdad, with unclear results.

March 21, 2003- The major phase of the war begins with heavy aerial attacks on Baghdad and other cities, publicized in advance by the Pentagon as an overwhelming barrage meant to instill “shock and awe.”

March 24, 2003- Troops march within sixty miles of Baghdad. They encounter much stronger resistance from Iraqi soldiers and paramilitary fighters along the way, particularly in towns such as Nassiriya and Basra.

May 1, 2003- President Bush declares mission accomplished and an end to major combat operations. Troops remain in Iraq.

October 17, 2003- U.S. Congress votes on President Bush's Emergency Funding for Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

Voting for:
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

Voting against:
U.S. Senator Edwards (D-NC)

February 8, 2004- U.S. death toll in Iraq passes 1,000.

April 21, 2004- Senator Clinton tells CNN that she is not sorry she voted for a resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in Iraq despite the recent problems there but she does regret "the way the president used the authority."

July 22, 2004- U.S. Congress votes to fund the war. ’08 presidential candidates voting for the resolution:
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-NC) (Not Voting)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

July 27, 2004- Barack Obama in his Keynote Address to the 2004 Democratic Party Convention in Boston, Massachusetts: "When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world."

August 31, 2004- Rudy Giuliani in his speech to the 2004 Republican Party Convention in New York City: "President Bush has remained rock solid. It doesn't matter to him how he's demonized. President Bush has already earned a place in history as a great American president. We need George Bush now more than ever."

September 7, 2004- Death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq reaches 1,500.

September 16, 2004- U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan declares Iraq war illegal.

November 2, 2004- President Bush wins re-election. Barack Obama wins race for U.S. Senate from Illinois.

January 12, 2005- WMD search in Iraq is declared over; none found.

March 31, 2005- The presidential commission on Iraqi WMD, concludes:
[T]he intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its prewar judgments.

May 10, 2005- U.S. Congress votes to fund the war. ’08 presidential candidates voting for the resolution:
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

September 30, 2005- Army misses recruiting target for previous fiscal year by widest margin since 1979

October 15, 2005- Iraq’s constitution was adopted by a majority of Iraqis.

November 13, 2005- In a letter to the Washington Post former U.S. Senator Edwards takes responsibility for his Iraq War vote: "It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake."

November 15, 2005- U.S. Senate votes to fund the war. ’08 presidential candidates voting for the resolution:
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)

November 16, 2005- Senator Hagel strongly criticized the White House's new line of attack against critics of its Iraq policy, saying that "the Bush administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them."

November 18, 2005- U.S. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) calls for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.

November 18, 2005- U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, whose son currently serves in the Marines, said U.S. troops should leave only when, "in the judgment of the war-fighting commanders, Iraqis are capable of defending their own country."

November 29, 2005- In a private email to supporters, Senator Clinton said, "If Congress had been asked [to authorize the war], based on what we know now, we never would have agreed."

December 15, 2005- Iraqis vote to elect members of Iraqi Assembly.

December 18, 2005- President Bush admits: “[M]uch of the intelligence turned out to be wrong.”

August 15, 2006- Colorado State Treasurer Mike Coffman walked away from a pro-war rally with U.S. Rep. Tancredo because of questions about Tancredo's failure to serve in Vietnam. Tancredo given a 1-Y status, which put him at the bottom of the list, when he reported that he had been treated for mental illness as a teenager.

March 21, 2006- President Bush says some U.S. troops will remain in Iraq at least until 2009.
March 16, 2006- Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani named to a bipartisan Iraq Study Group to examine the nation's involvement in the war in Iraq.

April 12, 2006- Washington Post reports that Pentagon-commissioned team had concluded in May 2003 that trailers did not produce WMD

April 30, 2006- In an interview on Britain’s ITV, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the U.S. went into Iraq without enough troops.

May 20, 2006- Prime Minister Maliki oversees the formation of Iraq’s first permanent constitutional government since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

June 15, 2006- U.S. Congress votes to fund the War in Iraq.

Voting for:
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

Voting against:
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)

June 15, 2006- Number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq reaches 2,500.

June 15, 2006- Amendment to withdraw combat troops by December 31, 2006. ’08 presidential candidates voting against the resolution:
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
U.S. Seantor John McCain (R-AZ)

June 20, 2006- Japan announces it plans to withdrawal its 600 soldiers from Iraq in the coming weeks.

June 22, 2006- U.S. Senate votes for $509 Billion military budget (including $50 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan):
U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)

August 3, 2006- Senator Hagel tells the Nebraska Journal Star that the United States needs to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within the next six months, rather than ratcheting up its military commitment now.

August 22, 2006- Senator McCain, a stronger defender of the Iraq war, faulted the Bush administration for misleading Americans into believing the conflict would be "some kind of day at the beach."

October 31, 2006- U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter's statement: “For those of you who say we don't have a plan for Iraq and Afghanistan, let me offer you the plan that we have used in many, many countries for the last 60 years and it's a plan that we're following. It's called you stand up a free government and then you stand up a military that can protect that free government and then the Americans leave.”

November 26, 2006- In a letter to the Washington Post, Senator Hagel calls for withdrawing from Iraq.

December 7, 2006- Rudy Giuliani quits Iraq Study Group and calls idea of quitting Iraq ‘Terrible Mistake'.

December 29, 2006- Saddam Hussein executed in Iraq.

January 10, 2007- U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo's response to speech by President Bush: “The bigger question raised by the President, however, is whether an increased American military presence in Iraq will aid us in winning the global war against radical Islam -- and I am not convinced that it will.”

January 10, 2007- Rudy Giuliani backs troop surge: "I support the President’s increase in troops. Even more importantly – I support the change in strategy – the focus on security and the emphasis on a political and economic solution as being even more important than a military solution."

January 13, 2007 - In an interview with ABC News in Baghdad, Senator Clinton called the situation in Iraq "heartbreaking" and said she doubts Congress and the American people believe the mission here can succeed.

January 17, 2007- Senators Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel, and Carl Levin (D-MI) sponsor non-binding legislation opposing plans to send more troops to Iraq.

January 23, 2007- In his State of the Union speech, President Bush called for increasing the number of combat troops in Iraq by 20,000. The president's so-called 'surge' strategy has been credited to Senator McCain.

January 24, 2007- Senator Hagel's statement to his senate colleagues: “I Do Regret That Vote [to Authorize War in Iraq]."

January 30, 2007- Senator Obama offers plan to stop escalation of Iraq War, begin phased redeployment of troops with a goal to redeploy all combat brigades out of Iraq by March 31, 2008.

January 30, 2007- U.S. Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) introduced the Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007, which would end all financing for the deployment of U.S. military forces in raq after six months -- excluding a limited number of troops who would train the Iraqi army, police force and counterterrorism forces.

February 2, 2007- U.S. military casualties in Iraq: 3,097 deaths; 23,144 wounded.

February 2, 2007- Senator Clinton tells the Democratic National Committee at their winter meeting that: “If I had been president in October 2002, I would not have started this war." She vows to end the Iraq war if she is elected president in 2008 and the war is still raging when she moves into the White House.

February 4, 2007- Senator McCain condemns anti-surge resolution sponsored by Senators Biden and Hagel. However, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called GOP efforts to block a vote on the resolution "obstructionism."