Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Downing Street Memo

I used to "google Ron Paul!" almost every day... back when he was a candidate for POTUS. But it's been a while since then, and I googled him up again recently. I wasn't sure what I'd find, but was pretty shocked.

The first thing I found was a recent interview with Congressman Paul discussing his belief that President Bush and Vice President Cheney would create an incident to provoke war with Iran. I thought it was crazy talk. Then I saw reference to The Downing Street Memo... something I had heard about, but never investigated. So while trying to understand this idea that a President and VP would actually create an incident to start a war, I googled The Downing Street Memo and found this NYTimes article from March 27, 2006:

LONDON — In the weeks before the United States-led invasion of Iraq, as the United States and Britain pressed for a second United Nations resolution condemning Iraq, President Bush's public ultimatum to Saddam Hussein was blunt: Disarm or face war.

But behind closed doors, the president was certain that war was inevitable. During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.

Further into the article:

The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.


Supposedly there was real consideration of assassinating a foreign leader to provoke a war.

But of course, statements could have been misconstrued... who could forget the old Bubba line

"I was never alone with her, right"

The intent of that statement hinges entirely on tone of voice (rising = question, falling = statement).

Regardless... I think Ron Paul does have legitimate concerns about the US provoking a war with Iran. But then I grew up in household that had first hand experience with a Chief Executive who felt concocting an incident to make the case for war was acceptable.

Tim White

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Get a copy of Armed Madhouse and prepare to feel your jaw hit the table in much the same way over and over...

It's all about where one gets their news... I'm surprised you hadn't heard more about the downing street memo.

Oooh, here's something easy that you may have previously glossed over. Have you read the PNAC war plan first-hand? Goosebumps.