Philip Hammond
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Iraq, 2003
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After its defeat in the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq was subjected to international economic sanctions, which caused large-scale suffering. In 1998, according to former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the US used the inspections programme to gather intelligence and to provoke a conflict by demanding greater access than that agreed between Iraq and the UN. In 1999 the Independent had used the example of Iraq as an argument in favour of intervention in Kosovo. Military action was launched by a US-led coalition on 20 March 2003 as a 'pre-emptive' strike, justified mainly through allegations that Iraq possessed 'weapons of mass destruction' (WMD). A secondary justification presented intervention as part of the 'war on terrorism', in that it was claimed that Saddam Hussein's regime had connections with al-Qaeda. Media commentators sometimes combined an anti-war stance with an emphasis on the need for tough intervention.

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Framing post-Cold War conflicts

The media and international intervention


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