Bombing of Iraq (December 1998)
The December 1998 bombing of Iraq (code-named Operation Desert Fox) was a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from December 16–19, 1998 by the United States and United Kingdom. The contemporaneous justification for the strikes was Iraq's failure to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as their interference with United Nations Special Commission inspectors.
Distraction from Clinton impeachment scandal
Some critics of the Clinton administration expressed concern over the timing of Operation Desert Fox. The four-day bombing campaign occurred at the same time the U.S. House of Representatives was conducting the impeachment hearing of President Clinton. Clinton was impeached on December 19, the last day of the bombing campaign. A few months earlier, similar criticism was levelled during Operation Infinite Reach, wherein missile strikes were ordered against suspected terrorist bases in Sudan and Afghanistan, on August 20. The missile strikes began three days after Clinton was called to testify before a grand jury during the Lewinsky scandal and his subsequent nationally televised address later that evening in which Clinton admitted having an inappropriate relationship.
The Operation Infinite Reach attacks became known as "Monica's War" among TV news people, due to the timing. ABC-TV announced to all stations that there would be a special report following Lewinsky's testimony before Congress, then the special report was pre-empted by the report of the missile attacks. The combination of the timing of that attack and Operation Desert Fox led to accusations of a Wag the Dog situation.