Axis of Evil

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The Axis of Evil is a term popularized by President George W. Bush.

George W. Bush's "Axis of Evil"

The Axis of Evil was mentioned in President George W. Bush's State of the Union address on January 28, 2002. The Axis of Evil was a reference to the governments of Iran, Iraq and North Korea. The "Axis of Evil" speech used, as the New York Times noted, "a word once used to describe the alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan during World War II."[1] However, Iraq, Iran and North Korea were not allies; in fact at the time of his speech Iraq and Iran's governments were bitter enemies (which is not to say that they weren't "evil").

Europeans objected to the speech as having a combative tone, and felt that Bush was issuing military threats to the three nations he named.[2] Bush aides insisted, however, that Bush "was not suggesting imminent military activity" against any of the countries.[3]

However, after the 2002 State of the Union, the United States pursed these states with success. North Korea has now been removed from the Axis of Evil after giving into demands to destroy its nuclear facilities.[4]

"Our goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.

Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens—leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections—then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic." --George W. Bush

The President's speech has been proven to be remarkably prescient. Iran is widely suspected of pursuing a nuclear weapons program, while claiming its nuclear program is for peaceful means. The invasion of Iraq and overthrow of the Baathist regime has neutralized one of the three Axis of Evil members and prevented weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of Saddam Hussein.

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External links


  1. Sanger, David E (2002), "Bush, Focusing on Terrorism, says Secure U.S. is Top Priority"; The New York Times, January 30, 2002, p. A1
  2. Daley, Suzanne (200), "The Allies," January 31, 2002, p. A12
  3. Sanger, David E. "Bush Aides Say Tough Tone Put Foes on Notice" January 31, 2002, p. A1