- From Paul O'Neill and Richard Clark, we know that Bush was planning a regime change in Iraq immediately after his inauguration (O'Neill said it was 'topic A' 10 days after the inauguration). The neocons needed to get a few preliminaries out of the way, including their Perle harbor of September 11 and the training-wheels war in Afghanistan, before they could set up for a war on Iraq, but it was always inevitable. Apparently it was also always inevitable that Britain would participate (we don't know, and may never know, whether this is due to some secret treaty, or just globalist Blair following orders from the Powers That Be). It appears that British authorities were approached no later than March 2002 with their instructions to participate, and the Blair-Bush April 2002 meeting just sealed the deal. From the Guardian:
"That regime change was an objective of the prime minister appears clear from a document leaked last year. It records Sir David Manning, the prime minister's foreign policy adviser, writing to Mr Blair about a meeting with Condoleezza Rice, then President George Bush's national security adviser, on March 14 2002, a year before the war. Sir David reported: 'I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a parliament and a public opinion'.
Another document leaked last year records Sir Christopher Meyer, British ambassador to the US at the time, as telling Sir David on March 18 2003, the eve of the invasion, about a meeting with the US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz. He said: "I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Condi Rice. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option."
Rice raised the issue in mid-March 2002, and the 'script' remained the same up to the time of the invasion. Manning's memo proves that Blair had talked to Rice before March 14, as Manning confirmed to Rice that Blair would not 'budge' in his support. The fact that the British were approached in March or earlier probably explains why a Foreign Office opinion on the matter was issued in March.
- A number of months passed, in which the Americans started to get ready for the political framework for the war. The Bush Administration PR masters don't like the summer as a time to sell anything, so the PR attack had to await the fall. Judith Miller composed fairy tales about aluminum tubes, a story which appeared on September 8, and was immediately picked up by Dick Cheney. This constituted the official American beginning of the lying basis for the war.
- While the Americans spent the spring and summer of 2002 building their set of lies, Blair was apparently instructed to begin the process of creating the British lies, and thus we see the July 2002 War Cabinet meeting. There are a couple of telling quotes from the minutes of this meeting (my emphasis in bold):
"C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. 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 UN 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 Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."
Amazing stuff, absolutely confirming all the worst things said by those who opposed the war. After this meeting, it was decided to work on three prongs for building the political case:
- try to manipulate Saddam into refusing the weapons inspectors;
- build the factual case for war based on weapons of mass destruction; and
- set Goldsmith to work on a legal opinion.
The first didn't work as Saddam refused to fall for the trick and allowed the inspectors to do their jobs. The construction of the factual case started with the late-September release of the 'September dossier' (the 'dodgy dossier' came out in February 2003). Finally, Goldsmith started work on the opinion, but Blair, knowing that Goldsmith was still influenced by the Foreign Office opinion, didn't want to hear his formal advice until he was sure that it would be a rubber-stamp approval of the war he had signed on for in April 2002.
- In the February 2003 American woodshedding of Goldsmith, he met with no fewer than five Bush Administration lawyers: Alberto Gonzales, then Bush's chief legal adviser; William Taft IV, chief legal adviser to the then Secretary of State Colin Powell; Jim Haynes, chief legal adviser to Donald Rumsfeld; John Bellinger, chief legal adviser to Condoleezza Rice; and then U. S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft. Wow! No wonder he was walking funny when he came back to London. Despite all the free legal advice, he still wasn't able to deliver the clean legal opinion that Blair wanted and the British military insisted upon, which is why he was sent off to be worked over by Lord Falconer and Baroness Morgan (who were then kind enough to write his opinion for him).
- On BBC1's Breakfast with Frost, Blair said:
"The idea that we had decided definitively for military action at that stage is wrong, and disproved by the fact that several months later we went back to the UN to get a final resolution, and actually the conflict didn't begin until four months after that."
Blair's logic only follows if, after failing to obtain the resolution, he called off British participation in the attack. In fact, it is clear from the pressure put on Goldsmith that the only reason Blair tried to get a resolution is that he feared that he couldn't budge Goldsmith from his reliance on the March 2002 Foreign Office opinion that the attack was illegal. The massive pressure put on Goldsmith was necessary because Blair wasn't going to get the UN resolution.
A Conservative victory as a result of Blair's lies would be a disaster for Britain, and it must be noted that the Conservatives were more in favor of war than was Labour (the Conservatives are simply idiots for turning down such a solid gold election issue). It would be nice, however, it the British electorate embarrasses Blair enough so that the Labour Party can finally do what it should have done before the election, and throw the lying poodle out on his ass.