The Iraq War Begins in 2003 — Today in History
Every generation has a few moments in history which are pivotal enough that we will never forget where we were when they happened. For many of us, the declaration of war on Iraq is one of those moments, and today is the tenth anniversary of that world-changing day.
On March 19, 2003, America (joined by coalition forces) officially declared war on Iraq, joined by coalition forces. Every television in America tuned in to hear U.S. President George W. Bush speak these words:
"At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger."
The grave danger that the President spoke of was the belief that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was either in possession of or in the process of building weapons of mass destruction. To this day, no WMDs have ever been found in Iraq.
After Iraq's major cities were captured and secured, and the regime believe to be defeated, President Bush declared the end of "major combat operations" on May 1, 2003, less than two months after the operations began. Despite the announced victory over Iraq's conventional military forces, the insurgency's guerrilla warfare efforts have continued, killing thousands of soldiers, insurgents and civilians.
Hussein went into hiding soon after the American attacks began, communicating with his people through occasional audio recordings, and was eventually found and captured inside of a small hole in the ground.
During his time in hiding, the Iraqi people elected a 275-member National Assembly, and a new constitution was ratified in October 2006. One month after the constitution was ratified, Hussein was tried and found guilty of crimes against humanity. He was executed on December 30, 2006.