Monday, June 13, 2005

Downing Street Memo Confirms War Critics

May 31(June 13), 2005
An internal British memo leaked to the press several weeks ago that has gotten little news coverage in the United States is now finally beginning to stir anger and outrage as members of Congress are pressured to launch a formal investigation. The startling memo was written in preparation for a meeting of Blair’s staff on July 23, 2002. Fully eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the head of the British intelligence community was quoted in the document as saying that war with Iraq was, “inevitable,” and that President George W. 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 memo went on to say that the United States National Security Council had, “no patience,” for the UN and that the case for war was, “thin.” Not only that, it questioned whether the invasion would even be legal under international law. President Bush responded to the memo by saying, “Somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to use military force to deal with Saddam. There’s nothing farther from the truth.” Unfortunately for the embattled Chief Executive, the evidence has cast a cloud over his credibility. The memo only seems to confirm accusations made by such people as Richard Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism expert whose book, Against All Enemies, made a nearly identical charge but was widely denounced by conservatives.
In the immediate aftermath of the memo’s release, eighty-nine members of Congress sent the President a letter requesting an explanation. Remarkably, all eighty-nine were Democrats. Not a single Republican member of Congress was capable of overcoming their partisanship long enough to question the judgement of their leader, even in the face of definitive evidence that blatantly contradicts almost everything the Commander-in-Chief has said.
The memo also said that, “little thought has been given to the aftermath and how to shape it.”
While most Republicans have proven to be loyal to party over country, some on the Right have had enough. Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina will introduce legislation this week that will call for an exact timetable of US troop withdrawal. When asked to explain his change of heart (Mr. Jones voted for the war in 2003) he said, “When I look at the number of men and women who have been killed -- it's almost 1,700 now, in addition to close to 12,000 have been severely wounded -- and I just feel that the reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that's all been proven that it was never there."
Jones’ defection has caught the entire Republican Party off guard. A solid conservative and one of the Iraq war’s staunchest proponents, he led the effort to ensure that the Congressional cafeteria served, “Freedom Fries,” instead of, “French Fries.” Apparently his conscience got the best of him. He said that the turning point came in 2003, when he went to the funeral of a sergeant killed in the conflict and heard the man’s widow speak.“That really stayed with me,” he said.


Blogger AJStrata said...

I am doubtful it will have any impact. For one thing the conclusions jumped too simply illustrate a desire for some scandal, not that one exists.

Please read this and then consider whether this will have any impact?

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Editor said...

I doubt that it will have an impact, mostly because the Religious Right now has a stranglehold on American society and they will not let the American people believe this. That does not, however, mean that it isn't a scandal. It is. It proves everything that the Administration's critics have been saying. In my view, what the President has done constitutes an impeachable offense (much more so than Clinton's extramarital affair in 1998), though, as I stated earlier, a Republican-dominated government will never allow justice to be served.

11:13 AM  
Blogger AJStrata said...

It has nothing to do with the religous right or anyone of faith. It has to do with the fact that there is no story here. In fact, Powerline I believe has an update on another contemporary memo that shows this to be nothing at all.

Believe what you like. But it simply that most people understood there was a risk and a potential pay off in ridding the world of Saddam and bringing democracy to the ME.

6:56 PM  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

It has nothing to do with the religous right or anyone of faith.

Because the two are so politically wound up in each other, so much more than a majority of the latter are feeling comfortable with (Schiavo; Stem Cells; the Rapture [which is what invading Iraq is all about for many of the former],) your assertion is exactly what our Editor here is deriding. There is, indeed and unequivocably, a story here. It is a story of the corruption of and abuse of the ultimate political power in the world, not to get some intern-nookie in between meetings with world leaders, but in order force the Worldview of these Principals of Corruption down the throats and up the arses of those whom they have chosen to hate.

There is good reason for that hatred maybe; not for the invasion though. One by one, every concrete and demonstrable rationale for war in Iraq has been left in the dust (WMDs; Iraq funded al Qaeda [LMAO!!!]; the US deserves to controll the oil supply... [ooops, they never actually admitted to that one...] and replaced with abstracts and ideals which, despite their superlative value if actually practiced by the oligarchs spouting them, were never good enough reasons to go to war and shall never be so.

This regime is abhorrent to me because it has so far and will undoubtedly continue to put the importance it places on its Ends over any conscience an honest human being would feel about the means.

ajstrata does make some good points in his own post about the media's inability to get a story right. But he does so by focusing on exactly the portion that I find the least relevant: the DSM's complaint the American's had no withdrawal plan. As he so sagely points out, these meetings occurred 8 months before the actual invasion! I wouldn't have expected a completely coherent extrusion plan for at least another 3 to 6 months. Of course, the fact that one has still to be found does kinda dampin' my enthusiasm for his little critique.

The Downing Street Memo Hearings are long overdue. The President of our nation, I don't care how Big his oil-blackened heart may be, is a criminal AND a dunce for letting his religious beliefs (you know the man believes in the Rapture, right ajstrada?) and his trust in his "Winner takes All" version of Democracy scream for the Press to make sure this issue is reported upon ad nauseum and blogged upon and spoken about and discussed, displayed, dissemminated throughout the country until "Downing Street Memo" is as common a term as Watergate.

3:06 AM  

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