Monday, October 02, 2006

Hindsight, Part 2

It seems some folks knew a bit more about the coming war in Iraq. From Daily Kos diarist jorndorff comes this tidbit from newly disclosed emails from Jack Abramoff, which are compiled at Rep. Henry Waxman's Minority Office Web page on the Abramoff investigation (emphasis added):
From: Jack Abramoff
To: 'octagon1'
Monday, March 18, 2002 8:31 AM
Subject: RE: Sunday
I was sitting yesterday with Karl Rove, Bush's top advisor, at the NCAA basketball game, discussing Israel when this email came in. I showed it to him. It seems that the President was very sad to have to come out negatively regarding Israel, but that they needed to mollify the Arabs for the upcoming war on Iraq. That did not seem to work anyway. Bush seems to love Sharon and Israel, and thinks Arabfat [sic], is nothing but a liar. I thought I'd pass that on.
Jorndorff adds some context:
[T]his is seven months before Congress authorized the president to go war. I give you this internal background of what the administation was up to with the unstated immensity that the Bush administration was at the time publically denying any resolved intention of invading Iraq. Indeed, it remained quite vocally non-committed for many months after the Abramoff e-mail and the Downing Street Memos had been written.

Just four days earlier, David Manning penned what came to be known as the third of the Downing Street Memos. Manning, then-foreign policy chief to prime minister Tony Blair, recounts a meeting between Blair and then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

[...]

The fourth of the Downing Street Memos was penned the very same day as Abramoff's e-mail, the 18th of March, 2002. This time, UK Ambassador to the US Christopher Meyer writes to David Manning retelling his meeting with US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
4. Wolfowitz said that he fully agreed. He took a slightly different position from others in the Administration, who were forcussed [sic] on Saddam's capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction. The WMD danger was of course crucial to the public case against Saddam, particularly the potential linkage to terrorism. But Wolfowitz thought it indispensable to spell out in detail Saddam's barbarism. This was well documented from what he had done during the occupation of Kuwait, the incursion into Kurdish territory, the assault on the Marsh Arabs, and to hiw [sic] own people. A lot of work had been done on this towards the end of the first Bush administration. Wolfowitz thought that this would go a long way to destroying any notion of moral equivalence between Iraq and Israel. I said that I had been forcefully struck, when addressing university audiences in the US, how ready students were to gloss over Saddam's crimes and to blame the US and the UK for the suffering of the Iraqi people....

7. Wolfowitz was pretty dismissive of the desirability of a military coup and of the defector generals in the wings. The latter had blood on their hands. The important thing was to try to have Saddam replaced by something like a functioning democracy. Though imperfect, the Kurdish model was not bad. How to achieve this, I asked? Only through a coalition of all the parties was the answer (we did not get into military planning).
Conclusion--this is yet another piece of evidence that the invasion of Iraq was long-before conceived as absolutely inevitable and necessary by the Bush administration.


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