Iraq war: Predictions made, and results
A look back at some of the predicted US outcomes for the Iraq war, and what happened.
(Page 3 of 3)
Was Saddam Hussein involved in 9/11?
Prediction: It was commonly implied in the runup to the invasion and in the first few years of the war that Saddam Hussein was, somehow, a backer of Al Qaeda and perhaps involved in the 9/11 attacks on the US. In March 2003, President Bush wrote in a letter to the Speaker of the House that "I have... determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." In September of 2004, a Washington Post poll found that 69 percent of Americans believed Saddam was involved in 9/11. Then Vice President Dick Cheney on Meet the Press, asked whether he thought that made sense, answered: "We don’t know. You and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time I said no, we didn’t have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, we’ve learned a couple of things. We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the ’90s, that it involved training, for example, on (biological and chemical weapons) that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization." In 2004 Cheney told NPR that there was "overwhelming" evidence of ties between Al Qaeda and Saddam's Iraq.Skip to next paragraph
The Arab League observer mission in Syria is likely to fail
Egypt's military rulers crack down on democracy groups
Iran's threats over Strait of Hormuz? Understandable, but not easy
Eastern Libya poll indicates political Islam will closely follow democracy
Iraq's Maliki threatens, Sunnis grumble, and Baghdad goes boom
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The results? No links were even found between Saddam Hussein and the events of 9/11. On broader ties to Al Qaeda, the question is mixed. Evidence was found that indicated some high-level Al Qaeda operatives passed through Iraq in the 1990s and may have received some government assistance, or at least have been tolerated. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian militant who was the face of Al Qaeda in Iraq in the first few years of the war (before being killed in a US airstrike) was in Iraq before the war -- but working with Ansar al-Islam, in autonomous Kurdistan, an area that was protected from Saddam by a NATO no-fly zone. Al Qaeda and its jihadi fellow travelers flourished in Iraq after the invasion, both recruiting from among disaffected Iraqi Sunni Arabs and drawing in militants from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya and other regional countries. Saddam Hussein's regime was an avowedly secular one, and hostile to even peaceful Islamist groups during his reign.