Across the world and in every part of America, people of goodwill are hoping and praying for peace. Our goal is peace
-- for our nation, for our friends and allies, for the people of the Middle East.
Q (Jim Angle Fox News): Thank you, Mr. President. Sir, if you haven't already made the choice to go to war, can you tell us what you are waiting to hear or see before you do make that decision?
Bush: I recognize there are people who -- who don't like war. I don't like war. I wish that Saddam Hussein had listened to the demands of the world and disarmed. That was my hope. That's why I first went to the United Nations to begin with, on September the 12th, 2002, to address this issue as forthrightly as I knew how.
That's why, months later, we went to the Security Council to get another resolution, called 1441, which was unanimously approved by the Security Council, demanding that Saddam Hussein disarm.
I'm hopeful that he does disarm. But, in the name of peace and the security of our people, if he won't do so voluntarily, we will disarm him. And other nations will join him -- join us in disarming him.
And that creates a certain sense of anxiety; I understand that. Nobody likes war.
I believe Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people. I take the threat seriously, and I hope it can be done peacefully. I hope we don't have to go to war...
Well, Bill, if they believe he should be disarmed, and he's not going to disarm, there's only one way to disarm him. And that happens to be my last choice -- the use of force. I've not made up our mind about military action.
Hopefully, this can be done peacefully.Transcript: President George Bush Discusses Iraq in National Press Conference March 6, 2003
Link: Bush, Blair were set on Iraq war despite UNBritish author writes 2 leaders conspiredMORE TRUTH:
It was the end of January 2003. Secretary of State Colin Powell was five days away from giving a key speech at the UN Security Council, laying out the case that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction and posed a danger to world peace.
But huddled with aides at the White House, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were not sure there was enough evidence to convince the Security Council. Without the council's explicit authorization, their plans for an invasion to depose Saddam Hussein could be difficult to defend under international law.Bush proposed an alternative: Paint a U.S. spy plane in UN colors and see whether they couldn't tempt Saddam Hussein's forces to shoot at it. In any case, he said, the war was "penciled in" for March 10 and the United States would go ahead with or without a second UN resolution.
Author defends authenticity
Sands said there was no doubt about the authenticity of the documents that he quotes in his book.
"They have not been denied and they cannot be denied," he told the Times this week. Britain's Channel 4 News says it has also seen the document outside of Britain. Its journalist Jon Snow presented excerpts in a broadcast last weekend.
The text, in Sands' view, shows that U.S. and British leaders had determined six weeks before the invasion to launch a war to disarm Hussein, even without explicit United Nations approval.
According to the secret notes of the meeting, as paraphrased by Sands in his book and then quoted directly by Channel 4, Bush told Blair that "the U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colors. If Saddam fires on them, he would be in breach."
The accounts say Bush promised to put the full weight of the United States behind getting another UN resolution but if that failed, military action would follow, anyway.
Link: Ex-CIA official rips war case
The former CIA official charged with managing the U.S. government's secret intelligence assessments on Iraq says the Bush administration chose war first and then misleadingly used raw data to assemble a public case for its decision to invade.
The specific critiques in Pillar's 4,500-word essay, titled, "Intelligence, Policy and the War in Iraq," are not new. But it apparently is the first time such attacks are being publicly leveled by such a high-ranking intelligence official directly involved behind the scenes--before, during and after the invasion of Iraq nearly three years ago.
Because of his position, Pillar would have had access to, and likely intimate knowledge about, virtually every piece of Iraq-related intelligence maintained across all agencies within the U.S. government.He also wrote that the Bush administration "used intelligence not to inform decision-making but to justify a decision already made"--to topple Hussein's regime.