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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Leaked 2002 British Memo Reveals Bush's Determination to Invade Iraq

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Author Topic: Leaked 2002 British Memo Reveals Bush's Determination to Invade Iraq
David Ricardo
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Here is the secret Downing Street memo that contains the minutes of a private meeting between Tony Blair and his staff that was held on July 23, 2002 after talks with the Bush administration.:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1593607,00.html

quote:
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

....The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

In summary, by summer 2002 -- Bush had chosen the invasion option regardless of Saddam Hussein's actions -- spreading democracy throughout the Middle East was not even mentioned as lip service for the war -- postwar occupation and reconstruction was not even considered -- and as even Andy Card admitted then, the "marketing campaign" for the war was intentionally timed to coincide with the US Congressional midterm elections.

It is also pretty scary that our British allies concluded that the Bush Administration was tweaking the intelligence data around their intended policy of invading Iraq so much so that the Tony Blair's advisors observed that American "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

[ May 03, 2005, 11:24 AM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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javelin
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He's BAAAA-AACK [Smile]
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RickyB
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He's also right. But we all know this by now, don't we? We know that both Bush and Blair had decided to go to war long before the saber-rattling even began. This is just more confirmation.
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Omega M.
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I wish the memo had been more specific about how "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Does that mean making up intelligence and facts, or just making a case that uses intelligence and facts for support?

What's so bad about privately making plans before you start "saber-rattling" in public?

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Funean
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Making plans in advance of The! Sudden! Emergency! that WMD in Iraq was made out to be.

Not that I'm necessarily criticizing the time-discrepancy--I need to read more--but that is an argument that could be made.

I'd also argue that, if it turned out to be the case, that looking for facts ad hoc to support a plan you are already committed to is poor reasoning and decision-making in bad faith.

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javelin
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Did you really get the impression that this was a sudden emergency?
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Funean
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Well, I should have said "when the issue of WMD's was suddenly made out to be an emergency" when, if they were there, they'd been there for years. But that wouldn't have been as much fun to type.
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Omega M.
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I thought Bush always said that the problem wasn't "sudden." Didn't he say something like, "Some say we should wait until the threat becomes imminent. Since when do terrorists put us on notice before they strike?"

I'm not sure the "Saddam Hussein could release a chemical weapon in 45 minutes if he wanted to" statement implied that Saddam was planning to do so in 45 minutes; it simply stated Saddam's alleged capacities.

As far as picking and choosing facts to support your case, I think OSC said that it's likely that every intelligence report contains qualifications like "This has only such-and-such chance of being correct," so essentially you're always picking and choosing facts to support your case.

It does seem like it's about time for us to get out of Iraq, though. In my opinion, we went there to get rid of Saddam and get international terrorist groups out of Iraq, not to squelch every violent faction that doesn't like Iraq's new government. (If we still are spending most of our time hunting international terrorist groups, then of course we can stay.)

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Funean
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I still wish we'd get on over to help in Afghanistan, before they get pissed at us all over again. And, there's lots more hidey-holes in their mountains than in Mess-o-potamia.
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Sancselfieme
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Too bad we don't have a democratic Congress, something like this should lead to impeachment.
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RickyB
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"I'm not sure the "Saddam Hussein could release a chemical weapon in 45 minutes if he wanted to" statement implied that Saddam was planning to do so in 45 minutes; it simply stated Saddam's alleged capacities."

Which allegations turned out to be insanely exaggerated. Ar eyou comfortable with going to war based on hysteria?

As for this:
"my opinion, we went there to get rid of Saddam and get international terrorist groups out of Iraq"

You do know that there are far, far more international terrorists in Iraq, who are far more active, than before we invaded? Just pointing this out. If that's what we went there to do, we failed in a huge way.

If we just up and leave now, I guarantee you full fledged civil war within a year, and that's being generous.

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Daruma28
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quote:
You do know that there are far, far more international terrorists in Iraq, who are far more active, than before we invaded? Just pointing this out. If that's what we went there to do, we failed in a huge way.
Actually I think that was the point...the so-called "flypaper" strategy. Better to fight them their than on our own soil.

So far, that one looks to be working if that is what was truly intended.

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Omega M.
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I knew that our guesses could turn out to be wrong. It didn't morally matter to me because Saddam hadn't been allowing inspections and had lied previously. By attacking, we sent a message to other governments that we will ruin them if they go too far. (What about Iran and North Korea? We've probably forced them to at least be more secretive about their plans, since they know they won't survive if a terrorist plot gets traced back to them.)

The question is whether the international terrorists are new ones, or just ones that moved in from other places. Besides, it's quite possible that starting to attack terrorists will temporarily create more terrorists. But will not attacking terrorists create fewer terrorists, when they will see that they're able to get away with their attacks?

Civil war is not really our problem as long as it stays "civil." It's nice if you can leave a country in better shape than you found it after you invade it, but I'm not sure it's morally necessary. Germany and Japan might have been flukes in that regard.

[ May 03, 2005, 04:38 PM: Message edited by: Omega M. ]

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Tezcatlipoca
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We never declared peace with Saddam Hussien after the First Gulf War, we only had a ceasefire.

G. W. Bush then decided to finish what we had started in 2002. And we did.

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DonaldD
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You mean that the UN had started, and that the UN was telling the US not to finish, right? You can't really have it both ways.

Well, I suppose you can of course, but why even bother rationalizing in that case?

quote:
Civil war is not really our problem as long as it stays "civil." It's nice if you can leave a country in better shape than you found it after you invade it, but I'm not sure it's morally necessary. - Omega M
You're kidding, right? The US came to provide freedom, but leaves the country to a civil war? Wow. The mind boggles. Go Team!
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RickyB
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"Actually I think that was the point...the so-called "flypaper" strategy. Better to fight them their than on our own soil.

So far, that one looks to be working if that is what was truly intended."

This only works if

A) there is something to actually force each and every terrorist to operate only in Iraq and not try to attack the US.

B) the terrorists are dumb enough to behave as if this were true even though it's not.

In other words, it doesn't work.

As for what Omega said - I second Donald. So what was the point again? Get rid of Saddam because...we had a personal score with him, or because he was causing Iraq to be a problem? If the latter, does anyone really believe that a chaotic Iraq is not a huge problem that we'd be insane to simply walk away from?

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Pelegius
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I know that I am one of an ever shrinking group of people who respects the U.N. and its goals of peace and understandting. Nevertheless, everyone, regardless of their take on international law, should see that the first and second Gulf Wars were two different things brought about by two diferent sets of circumstances. Gulf War I occured when Iraq, a brutal dictatorship, invade Kuwait, a not so brutal dictatorship. The U.N. ordered action, and so a lare multinational force was sent in. The second Gulf War occured when Iraq was alleged to have chemical, biological and maybe nuclear weapons. The U.N. went in and fond no such weapons, but the U.S. and the U.K. were convinced of theri existence, so they went in, only to ifnd nothing. Obviously the weapons inspectors were more competant than Bush was willing to admit.
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WarrsawPact
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Hey David, have you seen my explanation for why we had Iraq (as well as Iran and North Korea) on our hit list?

Check out pages 3-4.
You can get the password by subscribing to The New Libertarian (it's free!). Go to QandO and subscribe if you haven't already.

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KnightEnder
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quote:
What's so bad about privately making plans before you start "saber-rattling" in public?
He might have mentioned his decision to go to war with Iraq while he was running for president the first time, since he already had decided by then.

KE

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