June 21, 2005

We can't ignore the Downing Street Memos (Molly Ivins, June 21, 2005, sacramento Bee)

Why not? Everyone else is.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 21, 2005 6:22 PM

oh no, not a molly ivins link. what a disgusting old toad.

Posted by: cjm at June 21, 2005 6:25 PM

cjm: We all owe her a debt of gratitude. If she hadn't convinced all her liberal friends around the nation that W was a complete lightweight worthy of nothing but ridicule, the Dems might not have taken him so lightly...

Posted by: b at June 21, 2005 6:44 PM

b: hmmmm, that was a good thing, but i still revile her.

Posted by: cjm at June 21, 2005 7:53 PM

As I have been collecting interesting newspaper headlines of the last decade, allow me to present (post if I could) the Washington Post page one of Saturday, April 17, 2004.

HEADLINE - Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11

LEAD - Beginning in late December 2001, President Bush met repeatedly with Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks and his war cabinet to plan the US attack on Iraq even as he and administration spokesmen insisted they were pursuing a diplomatic solution, according to a new book on the origins of the war.

The intesive war planning throughout 2002 created its own momentum, according to 'Plan of Attack' by Bob Woodward.....

So what, this Downing Street memo is news?? Hello, I read all this in Barnes and Noble last year.

Posted by: Andrew X at June 21, 2005 8:49 PM

Even reliable left wing hack Michael Kinsley, thinks this is a non-event:

British memo sparks furor but misfires as a smoking gun by Michael Kinsley:

... in the end I donít buy the fuss. Nevertheless, I am enjoying it, as an encouraging sign of the leftís revival. Developing a paranoid theory and promoting it to the very edge of national respectability takes ideological self-confidence. It takes a critical mass of citizens with extreme views and the time and energy to obsess about them. ...

So cheers for the Downing Street memo. But what does it say? ... "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. ... There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

Cís focus on the dog that didnít bark ó the lack of discussion about the aftermath of war ó was smart and prescient. But even on its face, the memo is not proof that Bush had decided on war. It states that war is "now seen as inevitable" by "Washington." That is, people other than Bush had concluded, based on observation, that he was determined to go to war. There is no claim of even fourth-hand knowledge that he had actually declared this intention. Even if "Washington" meant administration decision-makers, rather than the usual freelance chatterboxes, C was only saying that these people believed that war was how events would play out.

... The prose is not exactly crystalline, but it seems to be saying only that "Washington" had reached that conclusion.

Of course, you donít need a secret memo to know this. Just look at what was in the newspapers on July 23, 2002, and the day before. Left-wing Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer casually referred to the coming war as "much planned for." The New York Times reported Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeldís response to a story that "reported preliminary planning on ways the United States might attack Iraq to topple President Saddam Hussein." Rumsfeld effectively confirmed the report by announcing an investigation of the leak.

A Wall Street Journal op-ed declared that "the drums of war beat louder." A dispatch from Turkey in The Times even used the same word, inevitable, to describe the thinking in Ankara about the thinking in Washington about the decision "to topple President Saddam Hussein of Iraq by force."

Then thereís poor Time magazine (cover date July 22 but published a week earlier), which had the whole story. "Sometime last spring Bush ordered the Pentagon and the CIA to come up with a new plan to invade Iraq and topple its leader." Originally planned for the fall, the war was put off until "at least early next year," which is when, in fact, it occurred.

* substitue latimes

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 21, 2005 11:53 PM

OJ: your software thought that a link to the LA Times was a link to a p0rn site, and censored it.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 21, 2005 11:55 PM

Of course it did, and with good reason.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 22, 2005 2:11 AM