George “Gen. Jack Ripper” Bush
Another leaked British memo (“everywhere you dig you find a body”) reveals that Bush and Blair sat around on January 31, 2003, thinking up crazy schemes to provoke a war with Saddam since they didn’t have any real casus belli.
What is worse, the memo confirms that our genius president knew about the dangers of messing with Iraq’s internal stability and did it anyway.
‘There was also a discussion of what might happen in Iraq after Saddam had been overthrown. President Bush said that he “thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups“. ‘
So this means someone could make a lot of money by finding out on which team Bush is betting to win the Superbowl, and putting a bundle on the other team.
Revised: For all the world like a latter day Gen. Jack Ripper as depicted in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, Bush was going to fly a US spy plane over Iraq painted in UN colors, in hopes Saddam would have it shot down, so as to provoke a war (and ‘protect our precious bodily fluids?’). This crackpot idea suggests the truth of the rumors that Bush never really did give up drinking heavily (or maybe it can only be explained by doing lines). Its context is explained by a kind reader who wrote in about my initial puzzlement to say:
‘ The Bush administration did get Saddam to agree to allow U2 flyovers under the nominal control of UNMOVIC in February. It seems likely that they expected Saddam to refuse, thus provide a suitable excuse for war. When he didn’t, they upped the ante by sending two at once in mid-March. The Iraqis still refused to shoot at them and instead complained through official channels. ‘
Bush also still hoped that Scooter Libby and Ahmad Chalabi could produce a defector out of a hat who would testify to Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction stockpile. I suppose this desperate measure was made unnecessary by the discovery that Colin Powell would be willing just to read out Libby’s science fiction novel about sinister aluminum tubes and an Iraq armed to the teeth before the UN Security Council.
The memo also makes clear that Bush and Blair had already decided to go to war no matter what, regardless of the United Nations Security Council. Bush had “pencilled in” March 10 (was it an item in his social calendar?) Blair committed to the plan, though he preferred a second UNSC resolution. That he committed in advance is embarrassing to him, since he only received British parliamentary approval to so commit on March 18, a month and a half later. Blair’s office refused to comment on the memo, discussed in a new edition of Philippe Sands’s Lawless World.
According to The Independent:
‘ George Bush considered provoking a war with Saddam Hussein’s regime by flying a United States spyplane over Iraq bearing UN colours, enticing the Iraqis to take a shot at it, according to a leaked memo of a meeting between the US President and Tony Blair.
The two leaders were worried by the lack of hard evidence that Saddam Hussein had broken UN resolutions, though privately they were convinced that he had. According to the memorandum, Mr Bush said: “The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach.”
He added: “It was also possible that a defector could be brought out who would give a public presentation about Saddam’s WMD, and there was also a small possibility that Saddam would be assassinated.” The memo damningly suggests the decision to invade Iraq had already been made when Mr Blair and the US President met in Washington on 31 January 2003 when the British Government was still working on obtaining a second UN resolution to legitimise the conflict.
The leaders discussed the prospects for a second resolution, but Mr Bush said: “The US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would ‘twist arms’ and ‘even threaten’. But he had to say that if ultimately we failed, military action would follow anyway.” He added that he had a date, 10 March, pencilled in for the start of military action. The war actually began on 20 March.
Mr Blair replied that he was “solidly with the President and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam.” But he also insisted that ” a second Security Council resolution would provide an insurance policy against the unexpected, and international cover, including with the Arabs” .
Andy McSmith notes that the memo contradicts the allegation in the memoirs of Christopher Meyers, the British ambassador in Washington at that time, that Blair had missed an opportunity to convince Bush to seek a second UNSC resolution. Obviously, Bush’s mind and long before been made up.
The parade of leaked British memos that have gradually emerged paint an increasingly detailed picture of Bush and Blair as Machiavellian warmongers– fully aware of the illegal character of their enterprise, cynical about the United Nations Security Council, and fully apprised of the profound dangers that might ensue, but determined to attack aggressively nevertheless, and to propagandize and to twist the truth until neither any longer knew where it lay.