micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Downing Street Mania
British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave a clear reason yesterday for the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States, Great Britain and ABskdskghsakaville.
"[T]he fact is we decided to go to the United Nations and went through that process, which resulted in the November 2002 United Nations resolution, to give a final chance to Saddam Hussein to comply with international law. He didn't do so. And that was the reason why we had to take military action," Blair said in a joint White House press conference with U.S. Prez George W. Bush.
Bush didn't say anything to indicate that Blair was wrong on this not exactly trivial manner, so there you have it. The invasion was because international law had to be enforced, which makes perfect sense as international law does not have a long history of being violated and what's good for Nicaragua and the land of the free people who obey the law and court judgments unless they don't like them must be wrong for Iraq.
Since I know most of you have the good sense to get your news exclusively from this blog, a bit of context is in order...
the June 1 edition of The Sunday Times printed what was said to be a July 23, 2002 memo containing the minutes of a meeting Blair had with key advisors that day. The memo says that based on recent meeting with U.S. officials it was the opinion of the advisors that:
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...These are not shocking allegations but the memo was, and is, likely evidence that Team Bush was not on the up and up about the reasons for invading Iraq.
Although I have known about this report since about the time it was published, I have not written anything about, other than for the purpose of criticizing John Kerry, for a variety of diverse and different reasons:
1) I did not have anything particularly interesting to say about the document other than it seems to me that when you accept a war against "the terrorists," expecting accurate intelligence is nit picking.
2) I did not expect it to stir much controversy at all, given how nobody seems to care about the other deceptions and manipulations the Bush Administration has gotten away with. I'm happy to be wrong here, but I still do not get why people are inspired by this information.
3) I am of the belief that Bush will get away with everything that he had done. Yes he should be in a cage getting poked by school children on field trips, but I don't think it is going to happen. If people aren't outraged now, part of me doubts there would be much outrage if Bush came out and said, "I have lied to you. I have manipulated your fears, ignorance and lack of critical thinking. You are stupid for not figuring this out on your own.
4) I wanted to protect President Bush because Clinton signed something in 1998 and Kerry voted for the war and because one thing leftists never understand and never will understand is that America is right and not wrong and they are no right so they should just shut their pie holes and let real men and manly women do the hard work of keeping America safe, defeating evil and avenging those who paid with their blood on September 11 just for going to work in the greatest country is the history of the world and not being the lazy people who just sit at home, work a 9 to 5 job, collect a cushy pension and believe whatever the lamestream media tells them about why they should hate President Bush, the Republicans and America without ever once taking the step of going out and being a productive member of society who makes their own way, stands on their own two feet and resents having some big government bureaucrat taking their hard earned money away to go spend it some committee out their in Washington that will criticize American soldiers for defending freedom because this modern day soviet commie apparatchik will not shut their piehole and believe that America is always right due to their leftism. (Thank you Micah! You are a great American who has a wisdom one can't learn in all those fancy colleges where those liberals go.)
So those are my reasons for not commenting on it till know but I can go with the flow...
Moving back to yesterday's press conference:
Q Thank you, sir. On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street memo from July 2002 says intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military action. Is this an accurate reflection of what happened? Could both of you respond?A decent question, I suppose, although without a follow up that the reporter is willing to ask even after the two gentlemen have made it clear they want to move on, it won't produce anything like an interesting answer.
PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Well, I can respond to that very easily. No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all. And let me remind you that that memorandum was written before we then went to the United Nations. Now, no one knows more intimately the discussions that we were conducting as two countries at the time than me. And the fact is we decided to go to the United Nations and went through that process, which resulted in the November 2002 United Nations resolution, to give a final chance to Saddam Hussein to comply with international law. He didn't do so. And that was the reason why we had to take military action.I've covered the international law argument above. The idea that going to the UN discounts the accuracy of the memo's findings is strange since the memo does say:
We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.So going to the UN was not inconsistent with the contents of the memo.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I -- you know, I read kind of the characterizations of the memo, particularly when they dropped it out in the middle of his race. I'm not sure who "they dropped it out" is, but -- I'm not suggesting that you all dropped it out there. (Laughter.)I doubt anybody cares about this except elections and self-absorbed media types. So yes the joke worked in Bush's favor. What a sense of humor he has. Bush must be a great man, if he is indeed a man and not some greater species.
And somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth.The implicit premise to what Bush says here is that something terrible would have happened if Saddam had been allowed to stay in power, but what isn't clear. Saddam would be in power? Yes that was really ruining the world and it is good to know the last brutal thug in power no long has power. An attack? Yep Saddam was waiting for just the right moment that it had not shown up over more than the last 12 years. International law being violated? Is that even news?
What this terrible event or series of events would have been is not stated because, in all likelihood, a credible answere did not and does not exist. The fact that virtually nobody will figure this out and say it publicly doesn't speak well for the possibility of government being held accountable.