Monday, March 27, 2006

Saddam's Documents, Downing St. Memos and "Ancient History"

The New York Times is finally playing catch-up.

Today their leader deals with one of the Downing Street documents already familiar to every Briton - and to American readers of progressive blogs.

During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times.


...The memo indicates the two leaders envisioned a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi government that would be complicated, but manageable. Mr. Bush predicted that it was "unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups." Mr. Blair agreed with that assessment.

The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein.

Those proposals were first reported last month in the British press, but the memo does not make clear whether they reflected Mr. Bush's extemporaneous suggestions, or were elements of the government's plan.
The Times has now also spoken to two "senior British officials" who have confirmed the document as genuine.

Bravo for finally catching up, chaps. This was first treated by the British media back in February. Here's my blog post referencing that coverage. I'm going to treat you again to what Prof. Sands, the man who first broke this document, told the BBC:

I'm not suggesting it, I'm stating it unambiguously. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair breached international law and have taken themselves individually into the realm of the criminal.

But finally, I want to make one really crucial point.

Last time this document hit the blogs, as with every other one of the Downing Street documents, the Right cried out that it was "ancient history" and was no longer relevant as the invasion of Iraq happened as it happened and we should now move on to deal with the present...

I fully expect that will be the spin this time too.

Well, they've shot their own argument down with all the sound and fury they've been making over the recently released documents from Saddam-era Iraq. Those documents are even older "ancient history" yet that hasn't slowed them down one jot. Their argument is as bankrupt as it is illogical. Notice that progressives haven't used the same argument against their glee over their shoddy conspiracy theories and poor translations.

That's because we know that Bush and Blair are still presently the leaders of their respective nations, and that the Downing Street documents will not be ancient history until those who lied us into war are no longer in power.