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June 12, 2005

Memo 2: The Vengeance

June 12, 2005
Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’

MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.

The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.

This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action. [Sunday Times]

Read more about Memo 2 at Freiheit und Wissen.

The Daily Pepper points to the Washington Post's latest story on the original Downing Street Memo. The memo confirms that Tony Blair's advisor's warned 8 months before the invasion that the US wouldn't be prepared to occupy Iraq.


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» "US views of international law vary...." from Geoff Arnold
Juan Cole posts a lengthy analysis of the latest story in the London Times about US and British intentions concerning Iraq. "US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community. Regime change per se is not a proper ba... [Read More]


These memos are the biggest news available today. So, how do you like CNN's continuous coverage of them? The "Memogate" logo they devised to open each 10 minute segment of coverage is great too, huh? It is sure a good thing we have a "free press" to keep us citizens well informed.

Although, I gotta say that I am with Atrios on this one. How is it that anyone is surprised by any of this? Most of us (at least around here) knew this years ago, and many of us expended considerable energy attempting to tell others.

My capacity for outrage is being maxed out and I my cynicism (which I try to really keep down) is getting the better of me, to wit: I am starting to believe that most Americans really are okay with being lied to and crapped on. It's the new American way, just as long as there is someone a little lower down the ladder to crap on as well, then it makes it all tolerable.

Welcome to the New American Mercantile Empire...

Sorry, about that...didn't mean to rant...

mojo sends

Funny to hear your perspective, vanmojo, because that was my attitude toward DSMI, and I was sympathetic to the MSM not making a lot of it. This one though all but made my eyes pop out of my head, and I am totally baffled by the total absence of news about it in US papers online. To me it's just about the quality of the evidence, not the story it documents, which we all know already. DSMI was utterly equivocal evidence to my mind, but what the Times says about DSMII struck me as absolutely damning and certain to initiate moves toward impeachment. Now I'm wondering if the Times made this up or something. The Washington Post had a story seemingly about the same new document that said nothing about a Crawford meeting or a decision already having been made.

It's not surprise, it's vindication. It's a great feeling to finally prove something you've long known to be true.

Also, political momentum is gathering behind the memo scandal. The memos are news to a lot of people, sad to say. Right now, a lot of people are looking for reasons to be angry about Iraq. I know these reasons have been evident since the beginning, but for a long time, only a minority wanted to consider them.

The best bit on the legality of the war is up over at Harry's Place:

"There has been a growing storm of protest in America, created by last month’s publication of the minutes in The Sunday Times."

Storm? Protest? I musta missed those.

Here's the newly leaked memo on which the Times of London wrote the story that Lidsay linked and made my eyes pop. The memo itself was so unimpressive I went back to figure out what in the news story made it seem so different. Answer: Not the quotes, only the unsubstatiated assertions of the reporter. I think I see now why this memo is making no splash. I just removed my own blog post on it.

"Lindsay" not "Lidsay"...even though we know the vowels are the hard part.

"Storm? Protest? I musta missed those."

Well maybe now that Michael Jackson has been found innocent on all counts you can catch up on the more serious news that has been happeing.

Unless a person is willing to argue (as Quakers do) that all killing is immoral, or argue that sovereign nation-states do not ever have a right to make war, then the legal issue is a weak issue to argue.

There were good arguments made against the Iraq war:

It will turn into a quagmire.

Bush is incompetant to run this war.

America will sacrifice too much internationl good will.

The war will cost more money that we can possibly afford.

The war will cost a great deal of money that could instead be spent raising the stand of living of the American people.

We could find a cure for cancer if we spent this kind of money on research instead of war.

The international community will no longer follow America's leadership on other important issues, such as extending the sphere of free-trade.

The war will leave us vulnerable to other threats, or unable to do anything about other rogue states, such as North Korea.

There is too large an element of corruption in the Bush administration for any of us to trust that its motives are pure.

Our President may be motivated soley by a desire to get control of a large oil reserve and hand our lucrative contracts to friends of his.

The war will put a terrible strain on our all-volunteer army.

The war will force the return of the draft.

These are all good arguments against the war in Iraq. None of them won we over and I still think the war is a good idea, but of the arguments that almost swayed my opinion, I thought the "its illegal" argument was by far the weakest.

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