2006 March 28 Tuesday
Bush Never Wanted A Diplomatic Solution With Iraq

A leaked 5 page British government memo shows insight into what Bush and Blair were thinking a couple of months before the Iraq invasion began.

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.

"Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," David Manning, Mr. Blair's chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Mr. Bush, Mr. Blair and six of their top aides.

Bush and Blair did not expect the Iraqis to start fighting each other.

The memo indicates the two leaders envisioned a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi government that would be complicated, but manageable. Mr. Bush predicted that it was "unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups." Mr. Blair agreed with that assessment.

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.

What are they telling each other now? That the Shias are soon going to stop using their power in the Iraqi government to do killing and ethnic cleansing of Sunnis? That things will get better?

Why did Bush invade Iraq? Just to score what he thought would be an easy political victory to bolster his domestic popularity? He wasn't mainly concerned about the supposed WMD threat.

The January 2003 memo is the latest in a series of secret memos produced by top aides to Mr. Blair that summarize private discussions between the president and the prime minister. Another group of British memos, including the so-called Downing Street memo written in July 2002, showed that some senior British officials had been concerned that the United States was determined to invade Iraq, and that the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" by the Bush administration to fit its desire to go to war.

The thing that bothers me most about Iraq is that we have to wait and watch the tragedy play out. Too many people do not want to admit how bad things have gotten and therefore we have to watch as things get even worse. The Shias are behaving increasingly worse. Shia religious parties have control of the government and they are in no mood to try to restrain the Shia militias and Shias in the intelligence services who are busy exacting revenge on the Sunnis.

The liberals do not want to say just how bad things are in Iraq because to explain why things are so bad would involve giving up on liberal myths about the universal appeal of liberal democracy and the capacity of every population to have a liberal democracy. On the right too many defend Bush out of partisan loyalty. How sad.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 March 28 07:06 PM  Mideast Iraq

Dave said at March 29, 2006 7:35 AM:

I don't know about Bush, I thought it was a Christian thing that he wanted to bring freedom to the Middle East? don't forget some of the positives, Libya gave up some of its weapons programmes, maybe there is a bigger picture here?

As far as Blair goes, I think he just wants to get his name in the history books as some big international player, everytime he gets the chance to go on an international adventure he takes it.

I'm still a bit confused about you saying not everyone wants a liberal democracy, not because I don't believe that, but it leaves awkward questions about what those people do want?
If what you say is true, it is basically saying Western democracy is on borrowed time unless they close the borders, is it really that bad?

Bob Badour said at March 29, 2006 1:34 PM:
Western democracy is on borrowed time unless they close the borders, is it really that bad?

Yes, absolutely.

Randall Parker said at March 29, 2006 4:24 PM:


Yes, it really is that bad.

As for what they want: The Arabs especially want to dominate each other. They do not see relationships as existing between equals. They see everyone in terms of who is above me and who is below me.

I strongly urge you to read my posts and the linked material about consanguineous marriage and the Middle East. Start with my post John Tierney On Cousin Marriage As Reform Obstacle In Iraq. Be sure to click back to Steve Sailer's Cousin Marriage Conundrum article.

Wolf-Dog said at March 29, 2006 6:58 PM:

It was clear from the beginning that the Shias were going to settle the scores with the Sunnis who had made them second class citizens for so many years. And this is happening while the US is in Iraq: wait until what they are going to do when we get out of there. In a "democracy" over there, the majority will vote to kill the minority.

But the worst part is that it was Iran that wanted the US to fall in this trap. One of the reasons Bush invaded Iraq, was that by d making Iraq a pro-American state, he was going to encircle Iran, and hence contain the Iranian influence in the region. But then Iran also tried to encourage Bush to invade Iraq, because of the possibility that the US would get frustrated and abandon Iraq to Iranian influence.

Now the REAL danger is the fact that Saudi Arabia also has a Shia population in the Eastern part of the country where many oil fields are located. Even though the Saudi Arabian Shia population is a smaller percentage of the country (in comparison to Iraq where they are the majority), but in view of the power the Shias are gaining in Iraq, the Iranian influence in Saudi Arabia might change a lot of things if there is a revolution to overthrow the Saudi Royal Family. We shall see how this domino theory will turn out.

Stephen said at March 29, 2006 11:12 PM:

Dave said: '...I thought it was a Christian thing that he wanted to bring freedom to the Middle East? don't forget some of the positives, Libya gave up some of its weapons programmes, maybe there is a bigger picture here?

There's no link between Libya giving up its weapons program and George's fumblings in the middle east - its merely a coincidence of timing. Since the late 90's Libya has been trying to come in from the cold eg they handed over the Lockerbie bombers in 2000, which was way before Bush decided to take an interest in the sandy parts of the world.

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