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Bush Promised to Kiss Blair's Ass
In the UK newspaper The Guardian today, Tuesday 10 July 2007:
Describing extracts from the - just published - diaries of Alistair Campbell, Blair's director of communications:
British concerns over the influence of neo-cons in the Bush administration are laid out repeatedly, with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld identified as behind the war with or without UN backing. At one crucial meeting at Chequers [UK cabinet's country retreat] in 2002 Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, then chief of defence staff, warned: "Only Rumsfeld and a few others knew what was being planned, TB [Tony Blair] may speak to Bush or Condi but did they really know what was going on?"
And there's this:
"All of us had had pretty severe moments of doubt but [Blair] hadn't really, or if he had he had hidden them even from us ... now there was no going back at all," Campbell writes. Mr Bush had promised: "If you win the vote in parliament, I'll kiss your ass."
And there's yet another reference to Rumsfeld's eagerness within days of 9-11 to attack Iraq:
Within two days Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, was not only briefing on possible action against Afghanistan, but warning "Rumsfeld had been looking for reasons to hit Iraq. They definitely wanted regime change ... Jack [Straw, then foreign secretary] said they would be mad to do Iraq without justification because they will lose world opinion."
The diaries make it clear Mr Blair was determined to give the US his firm support, despite anxiety from many ministers.