Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

As Promised...

UPDATE: I apologize for any confusion regarinding the quotes and whats what. I am currently working through Blogger trying to figure out why when I dont italicize, things are in italics, not to mention why all my sentences cut up the way they do. In the mean time, anything with an asterisk (*) is comments by Shakespeares Sister and anything not, is text from the memos.

Here is a post about the Downing Street Memos. Doing a little research, the best and most concise explanation of them that I find is here. Personally, I find the arguement "its old news" somewhat offensive. I am not a person who thinks we should pull unilaterally out of Iraq. I believe an exit strategy is needed and it is PAINFULLY obvious the any 'strategy' is something we are sorely lacking, and have been from the beginning. The completely ignorant rhetoric from the White House about 'last throes' and 'making progress' is an insult. Just level with the American people. They are more likely to support something that they have a truthful account of; and less likely to support an effort they feel they are being lied about. Note: Quotes are indented, text from the memos is italicized, commentary from Shakespeare's Sister is not, and as always, emphasis is mine.

I said you would not budge in your support for regime change but you
had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion... Condi's
enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed.... Bush has yet to find the
answers to the big questions:... what happens on the morning after?

Hmmm...I thought the main reason was WMD's and national security?

*The memo from the UK’s ambassador to the US, the aforementioned Christopher Meyer, to David Manning, summarizing his (Meyer’s) lunch with Paul Wolfowitz, dated March 18, 2002, includes the following:

On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Condi
Rice last week. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and
failure was not an option. It would be a tough sell for us domestically, and
probably tougher elsewhere in Europe. The US could go it alone if it wanted to.
But if it wanted to act with partners, there had to be a strategy for building
support for military action against Saddam. I then went through the need to
wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN SCRs and the critical importance of the MEPP as an integral part of the anti-Saddam strategy. If all this could
be accomplished skillfully, we were fairly confident that a number of countries
would come on board.

*This indicates that the process of going to the UN was a sham for Blair’s sake
and that disarmament was not an option; regime change had already been chosen as
the singular goal. The memo from the UK’s political director, Peter Ricketts, to UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, dated March 22, 2002, includes the following:

For Iraq, "regime change" does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make the objective ending the threat to the international community from Iraqi WMD... US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al [Q]aida is so far frankly unconvincing.

Now, if the idea that the entire process in the run up to war with Iraq is old news, what is it that we are admittiing? That we knew Bush put on a show for us? That we already knew that regime change was the only goal? I'm sorry, being lied to in order to enlist support for the war does not sit well with me, no matter how old the news. Corraborative proof, of which Tony Blair, when confronted with, refused to deny, is pretty important stuff. Sorry conservatives, the call that they are fake I think is a reach:

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?

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.

And just for a little comic relief, click here.


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