4,788. 3/17/2003

On March 17, 2003, President “Bush greeted the Senate and House leaders in the Roosevelt Room …He described his [upcoming] speech, the 48-hour ultimatum [for Saddam and his sons to leave Iraq]… ‘The Iraqi generals are war criminals,’ he told them and added a new and significant twist. ‘If Saddam Hussein leaves, we’ll go in anyway. That way we can avoid ethnic cleansing.’…Going in was important to get the WMD and to deal with the Baath Party leadership.”

 – Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, Pages 368-369

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