Monday, March 27, 2006

The New Downing Street Memo

Or is it an old memo? I get confused, because I also follow the British press. In any case, the American press is now reporting on another Downing Street memo:

US President George W. Bush made clear to British Prime Minister Tony Blair in January 2003 that he was determined to invade Iraq without a UN resolution and even if UN arms inspectors failed to find weapons of mass destruction in the country, The New York Times reported.

Citing a confidential British memorandum, the newspaper said the president was certain that war was inevitable and made his view known during a private two-hour meeting with Blair in the Oval Office on January 31, 2003.


The document indicates the two leaders envisioned a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi government that would be complicated, but manageable, the paper said.

Bush predicted that it was "unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups." 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, The Times noted.

Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a US surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

The bolds are mine. If only there was a way of shouting out lines of text on the blogs I'd do it here, for the first time.