Thursday, May 05, 2005

Know Bush Fact #45

Today is Election Day in Britain. Perhaps you heard. Or read. Maybe you weren’t overly interested. You may have picked up the idea that the Brits aren’t happy about Iraq. He made a bad decision, but they don’t want a Conservative. Blah blah blah. Bland British bother. Ho-hum. . . Right? Not interested unless it’s Monty Python, right? (That got your attention, eh?)

That’s because you don’t know what happened four days ago in Great Britain.

Sunday, May 1st, 2005, the United Kingdom woke up to this on the front page of their Sunday Times:


"A SECRET document from the heart of government reveals today that Tony Blair privately committed Britain to war with Iraq and then set out to lure Saddam Hussein into providing the legal justification."

And right there on the page was the leaked Minutes of the July 23, 2002 meeting at Downing Street:

"This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents."

In the second paragraph of the Minutes...
"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."

An inch or so down...
"It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. 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."

Ending with...
"The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush."

Hmm. So, that’s what the Brits learned in their newspapers last Sunday about the 2002 Bush/Blair meeting in Crawford Texas where they strategized how they could create justification for invading oil-rich Iraq.

And what did we Americans learn from the U.S. press

Not quite the same story.

The New York Times reported on May 2, way down in paragraphs 12-14 in an article entitled FOR BLAIR, IRAQ ISSUE JUST WON'T GO AWAY, that a document from July 2002 disclosed a meeting in which Blair “seemed to swing behind American arguments for regime change.”

Bush is barely mentioned.

The Washington Post at least had a more revealing title:


However, it was an online only article -- with links to the British press, but if you didn’t follow the links, you couldn't grasp what happened, not from "Blair privately told President Bush in April 2002 that Britain would support 'regime change' by force in Iraq."

NPR’s Talk of the Nation yesterday, May 4, did a half hour on British politics, but somehow managed to avoid any mention of the leaked Minutes of July 2002. I even forwarded links to the above articles yesterday morning to Neal Conan, host of TOTN, in hopes the opportunity for American public discourse would not be missed. But, sadly, with Bush’s friends, Ken Tomlinson & W. Kenneth Ferree, now at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting reining in notorious liberalism with the real threat of the end of federal funding, NPR & PBS are stepping gingerly.

So how did I learn about these Minutes -- another verification of Bush lying to invoke Patriotism & Righteousness all the while hiding long-held ulterior motives?

The Village Voice. The “Bush Beat” blog, written by Ward Harkavy. I had just last weekend noticed the column and signed up for email updates, and this was the first one I got. I don’t actually even know if the column is in the printed copy. Harkavy's title?


With links.

Another writer you can always count on to find the meat of the matter -- the wonderfully irrepressible Greg Palast. The title of his email column, also picked up by TRUTHOUT. was...


Significantly, as an undaunted American investigative journalist, Palast has to work for the Brits (BBC, The Guardian) to find real freedom of the press.

In conclusion, perhaps some perspective can be gained by better knowing our history in the Middle East. After WWII, Iran's first democratically-elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, ordered British Petroleum out and then nationalized the production of Iranian oil. The Brits came to the U.S. for help, and in August 1953, the CIA removed Mohammed Mossadegh, replacing him with the tyrannical Shah of Iran. The UK and US got the oil, but lost their claim to democratic values. The price has been the rise of radical Islamic clerics, the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the politically-misused American hostages, and the growth of distrust and vengeful hatred in the Middle East for the United States.

The reason we are at war is not because "They hate Democracy!" -- as Bush constantly repeats. It is because they see hypocrisy in Bush self-righteously pretending to uphold Democracy while bullying the world to get what he and his corporate friends want.

All for the sake of oil. . . Black Gold. . . Texas Tea.

To verify/research, Google “Bush +Blair +July 2002"

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