`US President George W. Bush made clear to British Prime Minister Tony Blair in January 2003 that he was determined to invade Iraq without a UN resolution and even if UN arms inspectors failed to find weapons of mass destruction in the country, The New York Times reported.
Citing a confidential British memorandum, the newspaper said the president was certain that war was inevitable and made his view known during a private two-hour meeting with Blair in the Oval Office on January 31, 2003. [..]
“‘The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March,’ Mr. Manning wrote, paraphrasing the president. ‘This was when the bombing would begin’,” the paper continued.
The timetable came at an important diplomatic moment, the paper said.
Five days after the Bush-Blair meeting, then US secretary of state Colin Powell was scheduled to appear before the United Nations to present evidence that Iraq posed a threat to world security by hiding unconventional weapons.’