Sunday, April 2, 2006

Bull Run

by Brendan Fitzgibbons, DI columnist

In the run up to the war with Iraq, President Bush behaved much like a blind kid chasing after an ice-cream truck.

The New York Times revealed on March 27 the details of a memo about a closed-door meeting between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The meeting is significant, because the two leaders were publicly pursuing a policy of disarmament in Iraq, but the memo details a clearly different strategy.

During the meeting, which took place in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, Bush made it very clear to Blair that his intention was to invade Iraq, with or without a second U.N. resolution. The author of the memo, David Manning, wrote that the United States had already set in stone an invasion date. "The start date of for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March. This was when the bombing would begin."

Bush even went as far as saying that he would provoke a conflict with Iraq if necessary. Two of the ways in which the president suggested they might provoke Iraq were painting a United States surveillance plane the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire from Iraq and assassinating Saddam Hussein.

This is the second memo released within the last year detailing the Bush administration's relentless, bull-headed determination to invade Iraq, regardless of whether Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The first memo, dubbed the Downing Street memo, was released last May.

The Times article is an astonishing revelation that apparently no one cares about. Since the article's publication, I haven't seen nor heard a single mention of it anywhere else in our media, TV, Internet, or print. Are there more serious matters in our national consciousness, right now, than the president seriously suggesting to the British Prime Minister fraudulent and life-threatening ways to coax Iraq into the war the president already had planned?

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