podcast hack

The Road to the Iraq War: Mushroom Clouds

Slow Burn, Noreen Malone

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This May 2021 episode of the Slow Burn podcast explores the road that led to the Iraq War, focusing on the central issue of whether or not Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and America's search for a reason to strike.

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The Road to the Iraq War: Mushroom Clouds

The Road to the Iraq War: Mushroom Clouds

by Slow Burn

Overview

'Weapons of mass destruction,' or WMDs, was not a common phrase until 2002. That year, the American Dialect Society named it 'Word of the Year.' Referring to chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, WMDs were a major talking point at the start of the 21st century.

To declare war, countries need a cause, also known as a 'casus belli.' The series of events that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq saw the Bush administration furiously pursuing every avenue for a casus belli. In the aftermath of 9/11, what made WMDs the American government's cause for war?

The Road to the Iraq War: Mushroom Clouds is an episode of Slow Burn, a narrative podcast produced by Slate Plus. The Slow Burn podcast is produced by host and journalist Noreen Malone, senior producer Jayson De Leon, and assistant producer Sophie Summergrad. Season five of the Slow Burn podcast explores the series of events that led to the Iraq War, with the help of experts and witnesses.

Favorite quote

If there's one thing Americans know about the 2003 invasion of Iraq, it's that the Bush administration said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction – and it turned out that he didn't.

- Noreen Malone

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