Friday, May 13, 2005

How Will We Be Remembered?

I don't know, but one thing is certain: Future history books will contain this text:

A British official identified as "C" said that he had returned from a meeting in Washington and that "military action was now seen as inevitable" by U.S. officials.

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

"The NSC had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

The memo further discussed the military options under consideration by the United States, along with Britain's possible role.

It quoted Hoon as saying the United States had not finalized a timeline, but that it would likely begin "30 days before the U.S. congressional elections," culminating with the actual attack in January 2003.

"It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided," the memo said.

"But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

The British officials determined to push for an ultimatum for Saddam to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into Iraq to "help with the legal justification for the use of force ... despite U.S. resistance."

This is a description of a memo about a high-level meeting held on July 23, 2002, and it has caused Tony Blair some problems, because it shows that the supposed causes for the Iraq war were all manufactured. But to George Bush, the instigator of the war? Not so much. Americans are more interested in runaway brides and Michael Jackson. Or so the American media seems to think.

But now eighty-nine Democratic members of the U.S. Congress have sent president Bush a letter asking what his explanation for the contents of the memo might be. Will we get an answer? Add the sound of crickets here.