This website, in conjunction with the 72-minute documentary film LEADING TO WAR, details how the Bush administration made its case to the American people for military action against Saddam Hussein’s regime, leading to the Iraq War which began in 2003.



On each page of the main part of the website is a menu of seven topics.  These topics analyze the wide-ranging strategies and rhetorical techniques used by the administration in marketing the idea of a war with Iraq, in addition to examining the pre-war claims made by the Bush administration as presented in the film.

The core of the analysis is presented in six topics that provide a comprehensive examination of how the Bush administration led the United States to war: 

A Mechanism for War – how the Bush administration constructed an elaborate mechanism to propel the nation to war

Rhetoric and Spin – the skillful manipulation of language and facts

War Through Rose-Colored Glasses – the assurances made to the public about how the war would unfold

Abuses and Misuses of Intelligence – the cherry-picking and misrepresenting of intelligence

A Mythic Reality - the creation and promotion of a ‘mythic reality’ in order to persuade the public to support a war against Iraq

Four Items of Note - other points of interest

The seventh topic explores the statements made in the epilogue of the film:

Bush Administration Claims vs. The Facts directly examines the important pre-war claims made by the administration: that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq sought to acquire yellowcake uranium from Africa, that there was a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, and others.

Relying on numerous government and press reports, this section shows how President Bush and his administration publicly presented intelligence as reliable and solid – even though behind the scenes they knew this intelligence to be disputed, or even false.

The final part of this section, The Costs of War, provides a partial summary of the tragic toll of the Iraq War: in terms of lives lost, the mentally and physically injured, the millions of refugees, and the financial cost.



You can watch LEADING TO WAR for free on this website, via streaming or download, or you can purchase a DVD of the film, which can be shipped anywhere in the world.  The film is subtitled in 19 languages in order to reach a wide audience, and is formatted to play on any DVD player (Region 0). 

The film consists entirely of archival news footage – without commentary, without voice-over – beginning with President Bush’s State of the Union address in January, 2002 (the “axis of evil” speech), and continuing up to the announcement of formal U.S. military action in Iraq on March 19, 2003.  Covering these 14 months, the film presents selected interviews, speeches, and press conferences given by President Bush and his administration.



To verify the facts presented on this website, most of the original information sources are either linked externally or have been copied into a file which is accessible by clicking " [link to source] " which appears next to all cited text.

In addition, the website includes the original and unedited source news transcripts from which the film material was chosen - so that the words spoken can be viewed in their broader context.



The content of each web page is downloadable as a PDF. A link "[link to a PDF of this page]" can be found at the bottom of most pages of this web site. To download the PDF, right-click on the link and choose "Save Target As..." to begin downloading the file to your computer.



[link to a PDF of this page]