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Prime Minister Tony Blair Confirms Authenticity of Downing Street Memo


SAN STEFFAN / WESTMINSTER
DATGANIAD I'R WASG PLAID CYMRU THE PARTY OF WALES PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday 29 June 2005 - for immediate release

The Prime Minister has confirmed the authenticity of a Downing Street memo in which Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, tells Mr Blair that the Bush administration was "fixing" the intelligence and facts about Saddam Hussein's regime to back up a decision that had been taken to invade Iraq as early as July 2002.

The Downing Street memo which was leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in May 2005 has become a critical issue in the US. Senators Kennedy and Kerry have joined the escalating debate by writing to the President asking whether or not the memo was authentic and accurate. Downing Street has previously refused to comment on the memo's authenticity, but challenged for the first time on the floor of the House of Commons the Prime Minister has finally confirmed its authenticity.

Speaking after Prime Minister's Questions, Adam Price MP said:

"The confirmation that the memo is authentic will cause ripples throughout the United States where 122 Members of the US Congress have written to the President asking if Sir Richard Dearlove's statement in the memo, that 'the intelligence and the facts are being fixed around the policy' is correct.

"I challenged the Prime Minister on whether Sir Richard Dearlove was a reliable intelligence source, and if so, could he confirm whether his statement was an accurate assessment of the Bush administration's intentions and actions. In his answer, the Prime Minister refuses to distance himself from the assessment made by the former head of MI6 and simply goes on to say resolution 1441 changed the position. I fail to see how this is relevant to my question.

"Today is a significant step forward in establishing the truth about the US and UK's policy to invade Iraq. However difficult it proves to extract information about the war from the government, the Prime Minister must be held to account by Parliament, and the President must be held to account by Congress."

Diwedd / Ends

Notes to Editors

For more information about the Downing Street memo please visit
http://www.downingstreetmemo.com or
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org

For a copy of the Downing Street memo, please visit:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1593607,00.html

Adam Price MP (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) asked the Prime Minister:

Does the Prime Minister still regard Sir Richard Dearlove as having been a reliable source of information on Iraq? And if he does, is it safe to assume that Sir Richard's statement in the summer of 2002 that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" was an accurate assessment of the intentions and actions of the Bush administration?

The Prime Minister:

First of all, as I'm sure the honourable Member knows that memo and other documents of the time were covered by the Butler Review (1). In addition to that I have to say to him that this was of course before we went to the United Nations and secured a second resolution, the resolution 1441 that had unanimous support and I would also say to the honourable gentleman that contrary to his view when I stood next to the new PM of Iraq, somebody who has had five of his relatives assassinated by Saddam, when I stood by him and realised that he was in power because of the democratic vote of 8 million Iraqis then I was glad that we took the action that we did and made sure that Iraq was no longer governed by a dictatorship but by a democracy.

(1) Butler Review paragraph 287 refers to Downing Street meeting on 23 July 2002 but omits to mention key statement that "the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy"

For further information please contact:
Gwenllian Griffiths
Plaid Cymru The Party of Wales
Swyddog y Wasg Seneddol / Parliamentary Press Officer
Tel: 020 7219 6422
Mob: 07980 013842
Fax: 020 7219 2633

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What is this british sense of the verb 'to fix' that chris matthews has mentioned. I suppose that it all hinges on what the definition of 'is' is -

Now we want to throw curve balls and find out "what is this British sense of the verb 'to fix'" is. Come on, I think you know deep down in your heart what this means. We need to take action now. There has been a feeling of blind-patriotism since Bush was elected. We as Americans need to regroup and instead of leading with emotions, use some reason. When my children read about this illegal war in history, I don't want to say, "Well, we knew what was going on, but we were in denial."
As for Blair confirming the authenticity, we need to focus on getting this information as public as possible before the Bush administration somehow buries it.

There's 19 (count 'em!) senses of the verb "fix" listed in the Oxford English dictionary. However, the word "But" at the start of that sentence demands that it act as a negative qualifier of the sentence before. Hence the verb "fix" needs a negative, or disreputable, sense. The only such sense is sense 12b, which is defined as "fraudulently arrange" as in "the race was fixed". That is the only "British" sense of "fixed" that fits the context of the sentence, I think.

Some people have maintained there is a British "academic" sense of "fixed around" which amounts to "cherry picked" - but I have not seen anything to substantiate this.

This seems like a pretty big thing to me. So if the PM of the UK has now admitted that the memos are authentic, doesn't that give more leverage to those seeking the truth from Bush?

I agree - it seems like a pretty big thing to me, too. TB has gone from denial to confirmation. Doesn't that add pressure to Bush? I think it's progress in that direction.

Actually, Blair has never denied the authenticity of the memo (that it is a genuine cabinet document). In his June 7th press conference with Bush, he said of it "that memo was written before we went to the United Nations", which effectively confirmed the document. The story doesn't seem to have changed much: "we tried going to the UN to avoid war". But the leaked memos undermine the credibility of this line, because they clearly show an intention to manipulate the UN process into a situation where Saddam would breach some inspection-related resolution, and create a justification for the oncoming war.

For example, in the July 21, 2002 Briefing Paper, we read:

  • It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be regarded as unreasonable by the international community. However, failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003.

and in the minutes of the meeting using this paper:

  • The Foreign Secretary said [...] It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. [...] We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

    [...]

    The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors.

It is difficult indeed to read this as a straightforward and sincere attempt to resolve the difficulty peacefully.

This is another republican spin. I was born in England and can emphatically state that to 'fix' a race or intelligence means to change the outcome to suit your pleasure. It means the same there as it does in America.

On the night the official war started and the bombs started raining down on Iraq I was so fucking angry I had to go for a walk, I walked longer than I've ever walked before that night. I had done my research, was aware of the PNAC and the neo-cons geopolitical grand plan, this pissed me off but what angered me the most was the sheer laziness of the American people to fail to get up off their fat asses and seek out the truth of what was about to happen in their name.

As time went on my anger grew...I attended all the protests, created posters and banners, wrote e.mails, etc. but then lethargy came upon me as the movement within the States was not reflecting how fucking insanely angry I was, soon I laughed at your inaction and finally I was extremely saddened.

However this now seems to be changing and something finally seems to be stirring within the U.S and it's quite exciting...you've finally come to realise two years after the rest of the World that you're bogged down in another Vietnam and this time it could be potentailly a lot more serious. The geopolitical plan doesn't stop at Iraq, it covers the entire Asian sub continent and beyond. For those within the U.S who have been campaigning and acting in response to these global criminals(and I know there are many) please forgive this mail for it is not directed at you. The movement can only get bigger...you can't sleep forever

Nothing has changed, my friend. The United States is well known for ignoring facts and hard questions until the problem becomes too big to control. Then, you all get mad and blame your leaders, as if you've all be fighting them from the start. There is no movement. There's only a pattern that's as old as a nation. You people are to blame; Republican and democrat suporters alike. You ALL allowed the Bush Administration to do as it pleased, because you knew if he won, you'd have more oil to sustain your greed. If he lost, you'd always have the option of impeachment. America should have done something about it's government before it became too late. YOUR GOVERNMENT SERVES YOU, not the other way around!!! Quit being a bunch of cowards and show your leaders who signs who's goddam cheque! YOU are ultimately responsible for your governments actions. So MAKE THE CRIMINALS YOU HAVE IN POWER ACCOUNTABLE, because you (and you're dragging my country with you) are on the fast track to the realm of the THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. Better take some action, people. You are your only hope.

You are right in that we expect our leaders to have our best interest at heart, but when it becomes apparent that they do not it is then that we take action. Not because we are lazy or ingnorant of what is happening. I think American's were complacent and to trusting of our government to do what was right after 9/11. When the realization that we were going to war over oil, we were just as disgusted as anyone else. it is not the american people who will benefit from the gains, but rather our corrupt lawmakers in washington. do not missunderstand that some of us were fighting from the begining, but now alot more of us are joining that fight. We are fighting not only our leaders but also the media. what are you doing to hold your government responsible for its roll in this war? In case you have forgot Bush did not act alone in this.

I'm not a hater, so don't get the wrong idea, but your statement is false. Everyone in the world knew that America had no business going into Iraq, including every American citizen. If your government gains, YOU gain. It might not be something you want to admit, even to yourself, but you allowed Bush to do his own thing. Question him on his clearly illegal actions, and he tosses you another blatant lie, and you all run with it until you can't hide under it anymore. Don't pretend that any of you EVER thought invading Iraq was the RIGHT thing to do. So, get off the fense, or stay out of the discussion. Don't tell me you didn't know better, because I know better than that. And Bush is still running the show down there. You're allowing him to make things worse, so you still support him. Come on.... let's see a little of that "less talk, more action" action. By the way, my country (Canada) acted with grace when compared to the US or Britain. And believe you me, when the Canadian people have something to say, by god our government hears us. Not only that, it does what we tell it to. Not like big George and his kingdom of frightened followers. You are ignorant, lazy and greedy. I know it. Not just because my country and I are ignorant lazy and greedy as well, but because i've spent plenty enough time in America to be sickened by it. It might not be too late yet. GET YOUR GOVERNMENT UNDER CONTROL. It HAS to do what you command it to.

After the President's Speech at Ft Bragg on June 28, where he seemingly indicated ongoing war without end, this news of Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledging Downing Street Memo is a bit of refreshment in a drought.

Maybe I'm just slow and don't know any better, but why doesn't someone just ask Sir Dearlove what he meant when he said, ""the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy?" If he says it means what we all know it to mean, then we have the smoking gun with the permit attached to it. He will then need to answer:

* What circumstances/discussions lead him to that conclusion?
* What, if any, information/facts/documents does he have to substantiate this?
* Based on his discussions and possible evidence, WHO specifically was involved in fixing the intelligence and facts. What is strictly a CIA/Tenet operation or did it go higher?

If he says, it meant something other than dirty dealing, we can move on to the other documents and make their respective cases.

Why doesn't someone ask Dearlove? You're kidding? You might as well ask Bush and expect to get a straight answer...

If you look around, there are loads of stories detailing fixing of facts and intelligence.

Have a quick look at the use made of Hussein Kamel's information, for example, or for a long, long read, have a look at the claims and evaluations of Iraq's proscribed weapons. Have a look at how normal vetting of intelligence was bypassed. Read about how Chalabi's 'endless stable' of defectors - whose stories were consistently proved false - were held in high esteem by Paul Wolfowitz: "he had a good record in bringing high-grade defectors out of Iraq. The CIA stubbornly refused to recognise this."

But the fixing of intelligence is not even the most damning allegation stemming from the leaked memos.

There's strong evidence that the only reason an approach to the UN was made was in the hope that Saddam would reject an inspections ultimatum resolution, thus providing a legal pretext for the invasion that was otherwise lacking.

And the most damning of all: that the aerial bombardment of Iraq was stepped up in order to "soften up" the Iraqi infrastructure - an outright act of aggressive warfare which happened in August/September 2002: well in advance of any public admission that war was underway, and well in advance of congressional approval being given.

If you care to look, the evidence that these allegations should be seriously investigated is available in dozens of stories by reputable journalists pubished since the war itself began.

...to get him on the public record as to what he meant by that. Regardless of his answer, someone needs to ask him that question and he needs to answer it properly. Yes, the other documents are far more damning and should be investigated thoroughly. I wasn't saying either or...

I don't know how things are in the US, but in Britain it is pretty unheard of for the head of an intelligence agency to respond to questions of this sort. (Cripes, we only just officially admitted that MI6/SIS existed in the last decade!) There is a strict policy of "no comment on intelligence matters" which has been used to cover up all manner of abuses.

The only exceptions are stories and books by "friendly" authors who are given access in order to frame the historical picture in a particular way. "Hostile" questions like this: forget it!

(Though I'd be happy to be proved wrong! :)

why do you think, if he *did* answer, he wouldn't just lie?

It is time that the House and Senate confront this ruthless administration and hire a special counsel into the alligations that the "Downingstreet Memo's" represent. I emailed my representative, (a republican) and demanded that he and his collegues step in the right direction and at least bring the Memo's to the floor for their consideration. We have a right o know what the hell is going on.

Blair hopefully has the decency (he's been around the block) to not be a stubborn SOB and drag Britain into further suicide.

Aside from that, Bush and Blair are going down. Iraq will be a disaster no matter whether the US keeps troops there or not. Thank the PNAC utopians for the Iraq disaster.

Mark Twain sums up W/Rove/Cheney/Rumsfeld's present (and future) behavior:

"...next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutation of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just , and will thank God for the bettter sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."

And in regard to "turd-blossom" Rove (W's pet name for his advisor/brain) and Rove's treasonous remarks last week against the troops (many troops are liberal, democratic, independent, moderate, including friends of mine stationed and fighting in Iraq)-- Hermann Goring said the following at his trial at Nuremburg:

"This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

Paging Herr Rove.

Tony Blair is also astonished at the coverage it recieved. He is astonished at the power of the blogosphere to bring it into the mainstream media. I have posted the video.

Tony Blair Video Link

Ooops! Downing Street memos taken out of context? Decision to go to war NOT predetermined? How about this news story yesterday...

(AP) British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that the "Downing Street memos" paint a distorted picture and insisted that the Iraq war was not predetermined by the United States.

"People say the decision was already taken. The decision was not already taken," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. Blair added that he was "a bit astonished" at the intensive coverage the leaked memos, which suggested British officials had doubts about the case for war, have received in the United States.

According to the leaked minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting between Blair and top government officials at his Downing Street office, Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of Britain's intelligence service, said the White House viewed military action against Saddam Hussein as inevitable following the Sept. 11 attacks.
In the interview, Blair said raising such concerns was a natural part of any examination of the cause for war.

"The trouble with having a political discussion on the basis of things that are leaked is that they are always taken right out of context. Everything else is omitted from the discussion and you end up focusing on a specific document."

Sooo....the Downing Street memos are only a smoking gun to those who have been smoking....what???

Agreed, the earth is flat,

Bring 'em on, remember the Alamo

W

Did I say earth was flat?

Powell sez round like O in Oil.

I don't need you Amerrikans. I do it my way. Earth is flat, winning Iraq.

Downing Street's a... whaddya call whaddya call... theory thing. Like democacy. No such thing democracy.

W

I realize this guy is just a MBA (Mesage Board Anarcist) but to educate others: There is such a thing as democracy...it is called a lynching (mob rules).

So, Blair admits authenticity of a memo. A memo taken down second hand and far from the time frame of the meeting. I have authentic facsimiles of Confederate money too that is just as real. How can intelligent people so easily believe that there was a conspiracy to go to war...but find it hard to believe an Arab dictators government would conspire with Arab terrorists? But thanks for your efforts.

James McPherson, I am a resonably intelligent person. Could you please explain to me what level of proof I need before I can conclude that what the Bush Administration was saying to the public and to Congress and what it was doing behind closed doors were two entirely different things?

It seems to me that when the Prime Minister of our closest ally confirms the authenticity of a document that says exactly this, I should start sitting up and taking notice.

That should read "reasonably," not "resonably." I told you I was only reasonably intelligent.

Sorry Marc, but I am kinda of repeating myself between debating you and Mr. Happy. He kinda wants me to have a "belief" for the same evidence you believe in. Thanks.

Also, Mr. McPerson, in case you missed this in the news last year, it was proven by the 9/11 Commission that there was no connection between Iraq and Al-Qaida.

MSNBC story: 9/11 panel sees no link between Iraq, al-Qaida

If you continue to believe that there was one, you might want to provide a link to your facts. Otherwise, I don't think you'll change many minds around here.

That's "Mr. McPherson." Sorry to bungle your name. Fingers not working this afternoon.

I like being a Person, anyway. It is not what I believe it is what I know. I know that the 911 Commission did indicate:

"But the report of the commission's staff, based on its access to all relevant classified information, said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda but no cooperation."

"The staff report said that bin Laden "explored possible cooperation with Iraq" while in Sudan through 1996, but that "Iraq apparently never responded" to a bin Laden request for help in 1994. The commission cited reports of contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda after bin Laden went to Afghanistan in 1996"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47812-2004Jun16.html

Link, connection, a simple handshake (however you want to define it) the communication had been initiated. September 10th it would not have made me worry but everything changed after that day.

is perhaps not the best phrase you could have chosen. You've seen the pictures of a certain Secretary of Defense shaking hands with Saddam Hussein? Does that mean that the two colluded in gassing the Kurds? By your logic we should be pressing the case right now.

Seriously, if there was any evidence that stood up implying Saddam's material aid in 9/11 it would be dragged out and paraded every time a Republican spokesperson discussed the war.

Authentic facsimilies? What kind of double speak is that? Next you will be telling us that negative one equals one (-1 = 1). Do you work for Bush or what? You could be Scott Mclelland's (Whitehouse spokesman) replacemet. The memo has been authenticated, period. Blair wasn't affirming that the paper it was printed on was physically real. He was affirming its contents were correct, as it transpired.

Yes, I was using fanciful words to try and make my point which is often done in debate. Directly to my point, I am not qualified nor was I questioning the authenticity of the memo...only the value. And being that the information in the memo was second hand or done from a recollection of the meeting I would not want to take it to court as exhibit A. Anyone interested in buying my authentic facsimilies of Confederate money?

The Downing Street MINUTES are just that. The British government provides for a higher level of transparency than we have in America - Cheney's Energy Commission ring a bell? - the statements are taken down by what we would call a stenographer. The "recollections" as you conveniently call them are those of a man who was the head of British Intelligence. I believe he would be capable of rendering the tone and intent of these discussions, and most likely the actual words spoken as well. The reason they were "transcribed" was to protect the source. It would have been easiest for Blair to deny their authenticity, but because of this audit trail, he could not. And for that unfortunate little fact, neither can you.

Karl Rove - tell him what he's won!

Intelligent people have beliefs based on a rational appraisal of the available evidence. There is plenty of evidence for a "conspiracy" to go to war, as you put it, but none for a Saddam/Al Qaeda link. There you have it.

Good luck spending your funny money...

but I did notice you said "belief" which is the problem with the debate. Many with strong beliefs on both sides. Few go by what they KNOW in simple terms and complicate the facts. I know there was 911. I know that UBL hates America. I also know that Hussein hates America. I know both had resources to act on that hate. I know there were "explored possible cooperation with Iraq" while UBL was in the Sudan thru 1996 (From 911 Commission Staff Report). That is simple enough for me to understand the dangers...I KNOW I could not convince you this would be enough.

Without going into the gnarly philosophical problems of the roles of belief and knowledge, suffice it to say that they are not mutually exclusive terms: you believe the earth is round? You also know that? Ok.

Knowledge is generally thought of as "justified true belief". In the case of a belief in "fixed" intelligence and a rush to war, where WMD claims and UN resolutions functioned solely as rhetorical devices in the pursuit of a pre-ordained policy, there's enough evidence around already to call such a belief justified.

In the case of Saddam/Osama collaboration on 9/11, certainly there were reasons to suspect it - in the immediate aftermath I remember pondering it myself, and the BBC carried a Saddam quote calling it "the operation of the century". No doubt Saddam was pleased as punch.

But all the investigations carried out by US official bodies and by individuals charged with establishing just such a link have turned up blank. Powell, Bush, and others from the present Administration are on record saying just that: there's no evidence to link the two.

The truth of a belief does not rest on what evidence there is for it, but on - well - whether it is actually true or not! There can be lots of evidence for a point of view without it being true (for example: Newtonian gravity had 300 years of experimental confirmation until Einstein suggested observing Mercury's orbit in a particular way, and the Newtonian system was revealed as a useful approximation, and not the exact truth...)

So it might be true that there was collusion, but that it was very well hidden (though the lack of evidence, after (presumably) some pretty thorough searching and interrogating does play against the idea).

But (outside Hollywood, maybe :-) you can't take a country to war on gut feelings and suspicion, you better have some clear evidence. And there is none of that, or we would have been shown it by now.

One question...Are you willing to send your son, daughter, grandchildren, niece, nephew, etc. over to Iraq for this? If so, remember, actions speak louder than words. You need to show your support not just by slapping a sticker to your back bumper, but by doing some serious enlisting (and recruiting in YOUR neighborhood and schools if you feel as strongly about it as it certainly appears you do). The military needs folks like you. I'll tell you this, the military isn't going to get my kids for this illegal invasion.

Blair just signed his own impeachment warrant and that of President George Dubayah Bush.

You see I don't get Blair one bit. First time he was asked about the Downings Street Minutes, he verified that the memo was authentic, that the meeting did take place. Then just yesterday Blair was saying that the memo was distorting the picture. And now this, where he again confirmed the authenticity of the memo. What the hell is happening to Britain's Prime Minister? Has he caught President Bush's flip-flopping disease?

Is there a link somewhere? How can we verify that this isn't just a sequence of words you've typed in?

Now come on people parsing words isn't going to make this go away. Dubya and his "poodle" Blair are in hot water. They have taken two countries to war by lying. Lying to themselves in Blair's case and lying to our country in Dubya's case.

If you can't wrap your brain around this then set away from the podium. Let people with more critical thinking abilities look into this. You can't simply continue to deny, deny, deny. That is the Republican way to make something go away.

The truth will set you free. If you can't handle the truth (sorry for the movie reference) then go bury your head back in the sand and let the "big people" handle this.

1) If there was a verifiable, irrefutable link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, wouldn't both Iraq and Afghanistan have been simultaneously attacked shortly after 9/11? Didn't happen, did it? Afghanistan was attacked immediately. Iraq was not attacked until 1 1/2 years later. The intelligence had to be "fixed," you see. The suckers had to be lined up. It takes time, and is "hard, hard work," to let the propaganda take effect. And it has to be repeated over and over again before enough normally sensible people can be literally brainwashed into believing something untrue. And against their own best interests. And their children's. And their country's.

2) The 9/11 Commission Report states that approximately half of the hijackers passed through IRAN prior to 9/11, not Iraq. No evidence at all exists that any of the hijackers passed through Iraq. In fact, none of the hijackers were Iraqi, nor were any of the support personnel. Wouldn't a control freak like Saddam Hussein have had Iraqis aboard, or at least in direct support, if he had had anything at all to do with the 9/11 attacks? To keep an eye on the operation? To make sure it was carried out successfully?

3) Why would Saddam Hussein support any person or group out to kill him, depose him, turn Iraq into an Islamic, shariah-ruled country? Hussein fought an eight-year war in the 1980s against Iran, a country ruled by hardcore religious nuts similar to Osama bin Laden. He never would have given any weapons to the Iranians, including any nukes he might have possessed. Bin Laden was of the same mindset as the Iranian religious leaders. Bin Laden hated western, democratic influences. And Iraq under Saddam Hussein was filled with western influences. Nightclubs, movie houses that showed X-rated movies, video stores with all the latest Hollywood or European hits (and porn), liguor stores, music stores, etc. Women could walk around in western clothes and even mingle among the men, and vice versa, which is a violation of hardcore shariah Islamic law. Music could be played in parks.

Apparently a lot of what Saddam Hussein liked and allowed in Iraq, bin Laden despises and would like to have removed from the entire world, one country at a time. So, why would Hussein have given any support or weapons to a religious fanatic like bin Laden who would have used those weapons eventually against Hussein to remove him (or his sons) from power? So that bin Laden could mold Iraq into a "proper" Islamic Republic like the hardcore Iranian ayatollahs keep trying to do next door? So that Iraq could be made to look like Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan-under-the-Taliban religious fundamentalist hell-holes?

The only religious fundamentalist shariah-types that Hussein gave any support to were Sunni's, in Fallujah. Outside of Fallujah, though, Hussein allowed western influences to flourish. The Shiite religious fundamentalists in southern Iraq hate those influences as much as bin Laden. They kept rising up against Hussein. Hussein kept crushing them. And keeping an eye on them. In other words, now there is a significantly better chance that the Shiite, Iranian-backed, religious fundamentalist, shariah-spouting leaders now in charge in Iraq would support and weaponize bin Laden and the al Qaeda than the no chance at all of Hussein of ever doing that while he was in charge.

So, what Bush and Blair and all their supporters have done is actually increase the danger faced by western democracies from these religious fundamentalist terrorists.

I'm a US Air Force veteran. I'm a liberal Democrat. I was totally for going into Afghanistan, or wherever, to eliminate al Qaeda after 9/11. Blow them off the face of the earth. Track down their financial supporters. Track down their operational agents. Neutralize them in one way or another.

But, Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, actually kept the religious terrorists at bay, especially in Iraq. Removing him has actually been a gift to the religious terrorists. Christians are no longer safe in Iraq. Non-shariah Muslims are no longer safe in Iraq. They're either being killed or are fleeing for their lives. And their children's lives. All western-styled democratic freedoms are under assault in Iraq. Just as they are in Iran. And Saudi Arabia. And as they were in Afghanistan under the Taliban.

What Bush and Blair and their blind supporters have done, therefore, is criminal. Bush and Blair must be removed before they do anything else as stupid and dangerous as their launching a preemptive, elective war against Iraq.

All along I had a suspicion that the Bushies were lying about WMD in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. There were many reputable people rejecting the notion.
What I knew was that Iraq had been under sanctions, had no army, navy, or air force, had been under constant survelliance since 1990, and that no UN inspectors had been able to come up with WMD. I was very disheartened when we invaded in spite of all the evidence.
It made me sad to hear certain people saying we should "nuke" the Iraqi people.
I was disappointed when I heard the reasons given to us for invading Iraq were constantly being revised, and more upset as I watched so many people accept the bait and switch.
But the really incredulous moment came when I heard that Mr. Bush was reelected! I actually WANTED to believe that the election was a fraud...better to think that, than to think that Americans would be so easily gulled.

Please provide a direct quote where Blair confirms the memos. I watched the video. He did not confrim the memo at any point. How do expect to be taken seriously when you write a headline that has no factual basis. This is why we have such a hard time making a case one way or the other -- wishful thinking is not truth.

Still waiting...

Read it again! I believe his words tell you the truth!

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