Saturday, June 11, 2005


A Blast From The Past

In honor of the upcoming hearings on the run-up to invading Iraq -- hearings made possible by Democratic Representative John Conyers, working in concert with thousands upon thousands of public-spirited Kossacks and other liked-minded residents of the blogosphere -- I thought this little blast from the past would be appropriate:

Bush has decided to overthrow Hussein By Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott Posted on Wed, Feb. 13, 2002 WASHINGTON - President Bush has decided to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power and ordered the CIA, the Pentagon and other agencies to devise a combination of military, diplomatic and covert steps to achieve that goal, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday. No military strike is imminent, but Bush has concluded that Saddam and his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs are such a threat to U.S. security that the Iraqi dictator must be removed, even if U.S. allies do not help, said the officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.
Of course, we had been bombing Iraq sporadically ever since the end of the last Gulf War, but as this article shows, Blair had agreed in April of 2002 to support the invasion. And in May of 2002 -- three months after the February 2002 article came out -- the RAF, at Bush and Blair's behest, escalated the bombing raids in an effort to goad Saddam into giving them a pretext for invading Iraq. And also, no legitimate experts were saying that Iraq still had any usable stockpiles of the various weapons Reagan, Rumsfeld and Bush gave him during the 1980s and early 1990s. But I digress. The point is that Bush had, despite his public pronouncements, already made his mind up to invade Iraq and replace Saddam's régime with a somewhat more pliant group:
"This is not an argument about whether to get rid of Saddam Hussein. That debate is over. This is ... how you do it," a senior administration official said in an interview with Knight Ridder. Bush also is dispatching Vice President Cheney next month on a tour of 11 Middle East nations, including many of Iraq's neighbors, whose leaders are leery of a U.S. attack on Baghdad. While the mission's purpose has been portrayed publicly as sounding out Middle Eastern leaders on Iraq policy, Cheney in fact will tell them that the United States intends to get rid of Saddam and his regime, several top Bush aides said. "He's not going to beg for support. He's going to inform them that the president's decision has been made and will be carried out, and if they want some input into how and when it's carried out, now's the time for them to speak up," one senior official said. Secretary of State Colin Powell signaled Bush's new approach last Thursday, telling a House of Representatives committee that "regime change" in Iraq "is something the United States might have to do alone."
There's much more. Go read the whole thing.

Yes, this is what's so puzzling about the outburst around the recent revelations. Everyone knew or should have known that Bushco was planning to invade all along. Paul O'Neill sets the date as no later than February, 2001.

I suppose that what has changed is that peple can see how crass and manipulative the policy course was.
Oh, exactly. Though it's a measure of the incompetence, corruption and/or cravenness of so many top people in American business, politics and the media, that this wasn't seen right away and strongly opposed right away.

Business and the media, of course, are one and the same. They both love Bush's cutting corporate taxes, as well as his gutting of anti-trust regulations, especially where media corporations were concerned.

I'm still trying to remember the details of that multi-million-dollar shared TV studio the US networks built in Kuwait in 2002, even as they were spewing the Bush Party Line of "no no no we're not invading".
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