Flashback: Key Quotes and Phrases that Shaped the Iraq War Debate

The war in Iraq forever changed the political war dictionary and national conversation by adding new phrases like "axis of evil," "date certain," "slam dunk," "GWOT" and "WMDs," which all became part of the heated debate over the war and even provided fodder for spoofs on "Saturday Night Live."

Many observers and pundits are honing in on the phrase "Mission Accomplished" and asking if President Obama's Wednesday night prime time Oval office address is his "Mission Accomplished" moment.

The term stems from a 2003 speech made by President Bush where he announced that major combat operations in Iraq had ended with a banner with the words "Mission Accomplished" on the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier behind him.  It was widely criticized as premature.  The White House has said there will be no such moment Wednesday evening for President Obama.

Here's a look back at some (by no means an exhaustive list) of the other key phrases and quotes that have shaped the debate on the war:

--"Axis of evil" - President Bush used this term to describe Iran, Iraq and North Korea, State of the Union address January 29, 2002.

--"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC's "Meet the Press," March 16, 2003.

--"Slam dunk case" CIA Director George Tenet told President Bush about evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, December 12, 2002.

--"I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." -- Sen. John Kerry, March 16 appearance at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

-- "Ladies and Gentleman, we got him" Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III announced at a press briefing in Baghdad that U.S. forces had captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein near his hometown of Tikrit, Dec. 14, 2003.

--"[W]illing suspension of disbelief." Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y, questioning U.S. Military Commander General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker providing reports to Congress on the progress in Iraq, Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, September 23, 2007.

--"The situation in Iraq is exceedingly challenging, the stakes are very high, the way ahead will be hard and undoubtedly there will be many tough days. However, hard is not hopeless." U.S. Military Commander General David Petraeus, February 10, 2007, address at Camp Victory in Baghdad.

--"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." -- Defense Sec. Rumsfeld, December 8, speaking to troops in Kuwait.

--"I don't oppose all wars...What I am opposed to is a dumb war...A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics," then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama October 2002.

-"Shock and awe" - U.S. military officials called the initial phase of Iraq invasion as a "shock and awe" - 2003.

--Global War on Terror, or GWOT, the phrase used by the Bush administration to describe the overall strategy to prevent terrorist attacks, President Bush viewed the war in Iraq as part of a greater plan. (later changed by Obama to Overseas Contingency Operation).

--"Weapons of mass destruction" or WMD, the term used by administration officials who said they believed that Iraq contained biological and chemical weapons that could produce mass harm.

--"As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down," President Bush addressed Americans at Fort Bragg, North Carolina June, 2005.

--"General Betray Us" -- Moveon.org ad in The New York Times September 10, 2008 renaming General Petraeus as "General Betray Us."

--"This crusade - this war on terrorism - is going to take a while. And the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient. -President George W. Bush at Camp David, September 16, 2001.

-- "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." -President Bush, standing under a "Mission Accomplished" banner on the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier, May 2, 2003.

--"We found the weapons of mass destruction." -President Bush, in an interview with Polish television, May 29, 2003.

--"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." -Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when asked about weapons of mass destruction in an ABC News interview, March 30, 2003.

--"Embedded" - news reporters and producers who were "embedded" or traveling and reporting alongside U.S. troops during the war.

--"And so, we'll stay the course in Iraq. You know, as I said, there's people there that like to run us out of there, create the conditions where we get nervous and decide to leave. We're not going to get nervous." -President Bush July 2, 2003. "Stay the course" was a phrase Bush commonly used in speeches when referring to Iraq and the War on Terror.

--"My answer is bring them on." President Bush said of those tempted to attack U.S. troops in Iraq, July 2, 2003.

--"I have a message for the president: enough of the phony, macho rhetoric." Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo. in response to Bush's "bring them on" comment.

--"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." President Bush, State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003.

--"There's a lot of money to pay for this. It doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Congressional testimony, March 27, 2003.

--"Clear and hold" - counterinsurgency strategy used in Iraq.

--"Deck of cards" and "high-value targets" used by U.S. soldiers to identify members of Saddam's regime. After the invasion in 2003, U.S. Officials produced Iraqi deck of cards which included pictures of the suspects, to aid the search for former most wanted high-ranking Iraqi officials of Saddam's regime.

--"Imminent threat" - used by the Bush administration to describe Iraq before "shock and awe."

--"Sexed up Dossier" - refers to a British government document used to garner support for Iraq war in September 2004. BBC correspondent Andrew Gilligan filed a report for BBC Radio where he quoted an anonymous source and stated that the September Dossier was "sexed up, " especially  the Saddam Hussein using WMD's part.

--"Spider hole" - a camouflaged hole in the ground often used by the U.S. military where a soldier can hide inside, but still observe and fire a weapon. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was found in the ground in what was described as a "spider hole" in 2003 near Tikrit.

--"[W]e don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas" lead singer of the country band Dixie Chicks Natalie Maines said at a London concert in 2003.

--"Ink-stained fingers" - the phrase commonly used on Iraqi election day, became the symbol of the country's emerging democracy, as Iraqi citizens had to get their fingers stained with ink when they voted to avoid corruption and duplication.

--"Surge" - phrase used to describe the controverial troop build-up in 2007 that sent 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq to try to tame the out-of-control sectarian violence.

--"New way forward" - during the time of the surge, the administration, especially Press Secretary Tony Snow, often described the "new way forward" in Iraq, trying to mark a turn in the war.

--" [T]his war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday" - Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 20 2007.

--"Timelines"/"timetable for withdrawal" -- popular phrases in the debate of when to pull out troops and give the Iraqi government and military more responsiblity and start to scale back U.S. presence.

--"Benchmark" - list of accomplishments or items mandated by Congress before they would provide additional funding for the surge, the list was meant to show that the Iraqi government and military had stepped up responsibility.

--"Date certain" -- in the debate over a potential timetable, war critics asked for specific dates when the U.S. would begin handing over more control to the Iraqis, the Bush administration was hesitatant to give a "date certain" for withdrawl and charged it would be giving the enemy a date on a calendar to be able to increase attacks.

--"The Washington clock is moving more rapidly than the Baghdad clock," U.S. Commander General David Petraeus, April 2007.

--"Quagmire" -- term used by war critics who described the war as nearly impossible to get out, so boggled down that it's most likely unwinnable.

--"I will first remind the United Nations that for 11 long years, Saddam Hussein has sidestepped, crawfished, wheedled out of any agreement he had made not to harbor-not to develop weapons of mass destruction, agreements he's made to treat the people within his country with respect. And so I'm going to call upon the world to recognize that he is stiffing the world. And I will lay out and I will talk about ways to make sure that he fulfills his obligations. " President Bush September 4, 2002. Remarks following a meeting With Congressional Leaders and an Exchange With Reporters.

--"Camp Casey" - Specialist Casey Sheehan was killed while serving during the Iraq war and his mother, Cindy Sheehan set up a protest outside of President Bush's home in Crawford, Texas. The "camp" in August of 2005 garnered media attention during a month that can be a sleepy news cycle, Sheehan then became the new face of the anti-war movement.

Fox News' Elena Isella contributed to this report.