It's not that anyone backed me down from my position - I do believe Bush-43 had "Iraqi payback" on the brian before he took office - but there's no clear evidence that he actually planned to go to war prior to taking office. So, here again I stand corrected. However, there is clear evidence that plans were conceived prior to 9/11.
Incidentally, I found the 2000 document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," from the Project for the new American Century published in September 2000. On page 8 where Iraq is discussed, the commentary reads, in part, as follows:
...WOW...The one constant of Pentagon force planning through the past decade has been the recognized need to retain sufficient combat forces to fight and win, as repidly and decisively as possible, multiple, nearly simultaneous major theater wars. This constant is based opon two important truths about the current international order. Once, the Cold-War standoff between America and its allies and the Soviet Union that made for caution and discouraged direct aggression against the major security interests of either side no longer exists. Two, conventional warefare remains a viable way for aggressive states to seek major changes in the international order.
Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait reflected both truths. The invasion would have been highly unlikely, if not impossible, within the context of the Cold War, and Iraq overran Kuwait in a matter of hours. These two truths revealed a third: maintaining or restoring a favorable order in vital regions in the world such as Europe, the Middle East and East Asia places a unique responsibility on U.S. armed forces. The Gulf War and indeed the subsequent lesser wars in the Balkans could hardly have been fought and won without the dominant role played by American military might.
Thus, the understanding that U.S. armed forces should be shaped by a "two-major-war" standard rightly has been accepted as the core of America's superpower status since the end of the Cold War."
Cheney got his two-pronged war after all...