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Lawless world

  1. Mar 27, 2006 #1
    This is the title of a book describing how Bush and Blair have been making and breaking their own rules for their own agendas. Part of the book has to do with a January 2003 memo, reported in the New York Times today; you can read about the memo without a subscription, at the BBC report linked below:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4849744.stm

    This is more than a little reminiscent of the Downing Street memo.

    The White House and Downing Street have not denied the memo, in any way, although it has been out for several weeks.

    I thought you should be aware of this new memo. I didn't see it on my home page this morning, and so I don't think it is getting much coverage (yet.)

    Article continues at the link.

    If this has been discussed in some other thread, such as "Republican lies...." I apologise. I've skimmed through the titles of recent posts but don't have time at the moment to read through all the threads where this topic might be under discussion.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2006 #2
    So the thread has been read about 2 dozen times, and I assume a response on the thread will get a few more views. I'd like to ask your input on something.

    So here's two questions to anyone reading.

    If you have read the memo(s), or the related articles in the NYT, then are you of the opinion that bush wanted to invade Iraq even without conclusive evidence that WMD would be found (as indicated in this latest leaked memo) and without UN support, and through means of "fixing intelligence" or by "arranging the diplomatic strategy around the military plan?"

    IOW Question 1: Are you of the opinion that he would break laws in this way? (For whatever reason. Perhaps he really saw himself as doing God's work; perhaps he saw himself as a liberator of the oppressed Iraqi's; perhaps he thinks some laws are more important than others; whatever. Do you think he ignored law in order to invade, as implied by these memos?)

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    ....time so that you can decide yes or no....


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    Question 2:If you think he would or did break law in this way, do you then think that such a person might be willing to get into the White House in an illegal manner, if the opportunity was available?


    ~~~~~


    It's a simple idea, one that our parents taught us all - Slick Willy was raked over the coals for it. You have to have integrity. If you're lacking it one area, then you probably lack it in others.

    What do you think?
     
  4. Mar 27, 2006 #3
    I think Bush (the man himself) probably thought that there were WMD in Iraq and if evidence was fabricated I don't think it was his decision but he may have gone along because he believed it wasa true.

    No I don't think Bush (the man himself) would have rigged or had anyone else rig the election for him. If it was rigged I think that it was someone elses work and he likely was not in the know.
     
  5. Mar 27, 2006 #4
    It's possible he thought that.

    The memo introduces some question on that score, however:

    From the link in the OP.

    Perhaps in this snippet, bush 'meant' that he thought Saddam would move putative WMD. Or, perhaps he meant that he knew the evidence wasn't as sound as he was promoting publically. I think it has to be one or the other - I don't see a third possibility.

    If he thought WMD would be moved, I wonder if he would have tried to put some intelligence on monitoring that sort of activity? If he didn't put any effort into monitoring that type of activity, then I'd conclude that he was acknowledging (in the meeting that generated the memo) that WMD might not exist at all.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2006 #5
    I'm quite sure that there was intelligence gathering going on in and over Iraq. I couldn't say just what they were gathering intelligence on ofcourse since they were gearing up for a possible war but I would imagine that any significant movements were monitored even if it wasn't explicitly stated that they were to look for WMD.
     
  7. Mar 28, 2006 #6

    Gokul43201

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    If I heard this right on CNN, the memo also reveals that Bush had suggested (something close to) painting a U2 plane with UN colors and flying it over Saddam's head, hoping he'd shoot it down. This attack would then provide the justification for retaliation.

    Hearing that, I was reminded strongly of the tactics used by Reagan's thinktanks against Qadhafi in the Gulf of Sidra incident.
     
  8. Mar 28, 2006 #7
    First, I don't want to soley base my opinion on someone elses approximation of this memo. I would much rather see the actual memo first. Without it, its' just speculation. I'm not denying that it exists, and it might even say exactly what is reported. However, if you want speculation, in that case, it sounds like two peoples private converstion in a brain-storming session. From what they reported, I don't really see any shocking revelations.

    "Twist arms"- is a figure of speech. It could mean putting diplomatic pressure on countries that disagreed. It doesn't necessarily suggest we would threaten them militarily. What do you think diplomacy is? At least it shows they wanted a resolution authorizing them to take action, even though they knew all along that they could do it anyway.

    "assasination plan"- military spy planes painted as UN planes?:rolleyes: We've been patrolling the "no fly Zone" in Iraq for years. If they would have downed one of our f-18's, that would have done the trick.

    Bringing out a defector to expose his WMD, sounds like a plausible idea. Maybe they should have pursued it.

    Assasination is an iffy subject. It was discussed in the media as well at that time. The fact is, we didn't.

    Hey, we all know they were wrong with there predictions about post-war Iraq. That's not some big secret either.
     
  9. Mar 28, 2006 #8

    russ_watters

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    Could you elaborate on how this memo applies to your claim that "Bush and Blair have been making and breaking their own rules for their own agendas" - especially to explain just what you mean by that?

    You may not be getting the responses you were hoping for because you haven't really said anything of substance here. Yes, you brought it to peoples' attention (thanks), but perhaps they just read it, thought it wasn't worth commnting on, and absent a comment from you to agree/disagree with, didn't see any reason to post. That was my first reaction and why I hadn't posted sooner.
     
  10. Mar 28, 2006 #9

    loseyourname

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    I'd sure like to see the actual memo. "Acknowledging the possibility" of something is not a very strong statement or necessarily indicative of belief. Similarly, if someone asked you to acknowledge the possibility that Saddam actually had WMDs and even intended to use them within the next fifteen years, wouldn't you have to? That certainly seems to be a third possibility - that each leader believed WMDs were in Saddam's possession, but acknowledged the possibility that these would never be found (presumably by the UN inspectors).

    I could have sworn that Iraqi forces somehow did engage British forces in the no-fly zone in the weeks leading up to the invasion, before it was decided publicly that the US and UK would actually go in to depose Saddam. In fact, I thought that was the proximate impetus for the issuance of the ultimatum asking him to peacefully step down or otherwise be forcefully removed from power.

    I don't have links for this or anything since I just remember hearing all of this on the radio during my regular commute as it was happening four years ago, but doesn't anyone else remember this? Am I remembering it all wrong?
     
  11. Mar 28, 2006 #10
    I don't remember this happening in the weeks leading up to the invasion, but I have first hand knowledge that US planes were engaged several times during operation southern watch. Yet, this never triggered an invasion in those circumstances either. Who knows what would have happened if they actually shot down one of our planes. I do know they never did.
     
  12. Mar 28, 2006 #11

    Art

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    You are 'remembering it all wrong' The USA and Britain stepped up bombing of targets in the no-fly zones dramatically in the months preceding the invasion in the hope of provoking Saddam into an act of retaliation to provide an excuse for the planned invasion. I provided a link some time back providing data on the actual tonnage dropped during this pre-war period.

    Here's a similar link refering to the provocative bombing;
    http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/2005/06/blair-lies-again-on-pre-war-bombing.html

    And another
    http://www.newstatesman.com/200505300013
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  13. Mar 28, 2006 #12
    General comment:

    The text of the memo, for those who are requesting it, is reported to be in the NYT. I don't have a subscription.

    There are plenty of headlines otherwise, if you also don't have a subscription and wish to read more. http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=memo+bush+blair&ie=UTF-8

    The "paint a plane to look like a UN plane in the hopes it will be shot at by Saddam" is being widely reported and directly claimed to not be denied by senior US/UK officials.

    McClellan has said that the presidents public comments are entirely consistent with his private comments. Yet:

     
  14. Mar 28, 2006 #13
    I didn't 'hope for' any particular response.

    Rather, it occured to me after posting that if Bush is the sort of person who would lie, in order to go to war, then he may also be the sort of person who would accept the presidency whether it was gotten legitimately or not. So I posted again.

    As far as the claim about making and breaking rules, that is the premise of the book "Lawless World;" I didn't 'claim' it. You can (1) read about the book here:

    http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,0_0713997923,00.html

    (2) A review and interview with the author here (recommended for left leaners on the forum particularly):

    http://www.motherjones.com/interview/2005/12/philippe_sands.html

    And (3) an excerpt from the book (I believe) here:

    http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1423230,00.html

    Those should provide some elaboration of the "make and break rules" idea.

    If I have any 'premise' here, it is that a person who would lie in order to start war is not unlikely to cheat in order to get into a position of power to do so. I wonder if others would agree with that assessment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  15. Mar 28, 2006 #14
    Here is a pretty good read on the subject.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/03/27/europe/wev.0327memo.php
    click "next page" at the bottom right to get the entire story.

    there was an article which appeared on page seven of my local paper even though it was more damning than the Downing street memo. It is the account of the meeting written by Blairs top foreign policy advisor. Condi and Card were at the meeting also.

    It appears that the invasion of Iraq was going to happen regardless of whether WMD were found. But by now we all know that anyway.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  16. Mar 28, 2006 #15

    loseyourname

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    Nope. Found it:

    Iraqi Jet Shoots Down US Drone

    I knew I remembered this being all over the news back when I had just moved back to California from New Jersey. Here's part of a CNN broadcast transcript:

    So apparently, Iraqi forces had fired before on US drones, and several had been lost, but this was the first time the military came out and said that a drone had been shot down by the Iraqi air defense, and the Iraqis claimed credit for it as well.

    I don't know what the real significance of this was, but I remember talking about this with people, because we were certain after this incident that war was pretty much inevitable. As minor an occurence as this really seems to have been, it just gave you that feeling, with the constant reports of tension and Bush starting to build his case in the public forum. After this was all over the news, you just knew it was for real. Before this, I had trouble believing Bush would actually invade. I just figured Saddam would eventually cooperate and allow full access to UN inspectors, and Bush would back off and allow them enough time to do their jobs.

    In retrospect, how naive. We were probably set on the path to war well before Dec. 2002.

    Wow, I even found this, from way back in July of 2001:

    Iraq Almost Hits US Plane in No-Fly Zone

    Imagine if that missile had actually hit, and the Iraqis had shot down a U2 in July '01. We might have invaded even before 9/11. At the very least, I would imagine massive air strikes would be authorized against all of the Iraqi air defense units.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  17. Mar 28, 2006 #16
    Well, you're statement caused me to do some open-minded research. I didn't want to jump to any conclusions before I read the terms of the cease-fire that Iraq signed at the end of Gulf war I. Especially in regards the "no-fly zones". http://www.casi.org.uk/info/scriraq.html and http://www.un.org/documents/scres.htm

    First, for those who don't know or don't remember, (like me) they passed 12 resolutions in the UN, each as a condition of the cease-fire. (note: not an end to the war, just a cease-fire, at least that's how I always viewed it.) The one concerning the "no-fly zone" is resolution 688. Also, it quotes two other resolutions (649 and 716), but they deal with cyprus and not Iraq. (feel free to double-check). However, I could not find specific instructions on what was allowed and what was considered a breach of the cease-fire in relation to this issue. Are you assuming his actions were criminal or in doing so the US and Britain violated an international law? Name one country that has offered a complaint via resolution about the legality of the no-fly zone, or the legality of these bombings in particular. If there aren't any, could we conclude that this too was met with the tacit approval of the member nations?
    I actually used the united nations website as my actual source. The link above is meant to show impartiality as it is a liberal organisation. If there were anything that could contradict my conclusions, i'm sure you would find it there. I have not.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2006
  18. Mar 29, 2006 #17

    russ_watters

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    I didn't say you were hoping for a particular response, I said you were hoping for a response. In your second post, you appeared to express dismay over the lack of response.
    Yes, you did, pattylou. You wrote this thread. That means you take ownership of the claim and you bear the responsibility for proving it. Otherwise, you are just repeating hearsay.
    So in other words, this is another Bush-stole-the-election thread?
     
  19. Mar 29, 2006 #18

    russ_watters

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    Regarding the no-fly zones - US military aircraft were engaged on a near daily basis for the entire time following the Gulf War and averaged more than one airstrike a week from '98 to 2002. They were fired on "thousands of times" during that decade, including 500 or so during 2002 alone. 90 missions (not significantly more than the average of 72) were flown in response. http://www.afa.org/magazine/feb2003/02legacy03.pdf

    Larger-scale bombing campaigns happened periodically during that time due to those engagements and as a result of Saddam's other actions. Clinton's "Desert Fox" was one such campaign:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Desert_Fox

    Regarding the WMD issue or, more generally, the issue of whether or not Saddam was a threat: people have conveniently forgotten that there was no question about it - no controversy. The world community was in near-unanamous agreement that Saddam was a threat. You've all read the UN resolutions that state it explicitly and even Clinton agreed, stating it several times, including in his justification for Desert Fox. The speech is so similar to what Bush could have said that I once tricked people in this forum into thinking it was Bush by posting quotes from it without mentioning it was Clinton who said them:
    Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Bush could easily have said those exact words in 1993. Notice how matter-of-factly Clinton states the existence of Hussein's NBC programs. There was no question - it was generally accepted fact. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/16/transcripts/clinton.html

    Before we attacked Iraq in '93, there was no global debate over the threat that Iraq posed. Everyone agreed the threat existed. The only question was how far we should go to stop him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
  20. Mar 29, 2006 #19
    You aren't being logical, Russ.

    In a sense, every thread on the forum is "just another Iraq War" thread. I trust you have enough sophistication to appreciate the nuances between threads, and variations on ideas, in those separate threads.

    So, what do you think? Does Bush have integrity? How do you understand the latest memo?
     
  21. Mar 29, 2006 #20

    Gokul43201

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    A threat to who ? And of what nature ? I doubt the international community was ever unanimous in asserting that Saddam was a direct and imminent nuclear threat to the US. Bush's addresses differ from Clinton's in their characterization of the threat.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
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