The Land of Harun al-Rashid, 2001–2003
In 1991, the United Nations Security Council set up a weapons inspection and disarmament regime that remained intact for several years before withering under bureaucracy. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, the success and failures of this regime were brought into the spotlight as Bush established US leadership at the United Nations and announced an international war on terror. The United States deemed inspections, and their contemporary incarnation, as less than satisfactory, as Bush sought alternative measures to disarm Iraq. The result was an obstinate administration, unrestrained by the international community, in its pursuit of what they deemed an unacceptable threat. What can be seen is Bush’s belief that Saddam’s intentions as Iraqi leader were more important than his capabilities, and that made Saddam an unacceptable risk to US national security.