There was an air of business-like efficiency when President George W. Bush announced the first pre-emptive war in US history a day ahead of schedule and retired for the night, unleashing cruise missiles and bunkerbuster bombs on Iraq to "decapitate" President Saddam Hussein. Operation Iraqi Freedom was under way. It was a four-minute speech delivered easily as if anticipated for long. The presidential flag was draped such as to show the quiver of arrows in the eagle’s talon in a subliminal signal for the audience.
The oddly disturbing calm of the night was shattered the next morning—dubbed Day X by the millions of Americans against this war. They created "absolute anarchy" on the streets. Thousands staged sit-ins, die-ins, bike jams, walkouts, car dharnas, bridge blockades and disrupted life to say, "Not in my name."