Yesterday, The Guardian uncovered a confidential memo that recorded a meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair almost two months before the invasion of Iraq. The Baghdad Bomber Brothers discussed how Iraq could be provoked into firing the first shot:
Bush told Blair the US had drawn up a provocative plan ‘to fly U2 reconnaissance aircraft painted in UN colors over Iraq with fighter cover.’ Bush said that if Saddam fired at the planes this would put the Iraqi leader in breach of UN resolutions.
The president expressed hopes that an Iraqi defector would be ‘brought out’ to give a public presentation on Saddam’s WMD or that someone might assassinate the Iraqi leader. However, Bush confirmed even without a second resolution, the US was prepared for military action. The memo said Blair told Bush he was ‘solidly with the president.’
The five-page document, written by Blair’s foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning, and copied to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK ambassador to the UN, Jonathan Powell, Blair’s chief of staff, the chief of the defense staff, Admiral Lord Boyce, and the UK’s ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, outlines how Bush told Blair he had decided on a start date for the war.
This is more proof of the deliberate attempt by the U.S. to instigate a war on Iraq, a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more, drained our Treasury, took out Iran’s worst enemy, and has killed over 5,000 U.S. soldiers (and counting).
This is nothing new, however. The U.S. has had a history of provoking other countries into firing the first shot, from the U.S.S. Maine to the Gulf of Tonkin. This same process is continuing in Iran under Obama’s watchful eye, ensuring another mountain of skulls.
This memo ironically surfaces at the same time that Prime Minister Gordon Brown is rejecting a call for an investigation into the beginnings of the Iraq War from his House of Commons opposition (which is pretty much the whole House of Commons).
Can we finally try the Bush gang for war crimes? Seeing Bush hang from the gallows might not make our widowed wives and limbless veterans lose any less sleep, but it might make future Presidents weary of another imperial adventure.