Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Another of the essential documents leading up to the Iraq war, via the new French Prime Minister

I was glad to see the news this morning that President Chirac Appointed Dominique de Villepin as France's new Prime Minister (New York Times, 31 May 2005) (and not only because he speaks a French so clearly enunciated that even TBL can understand most of it).

TBL will never forget that Dominique de Villepin was the man who made this great speech at the UN on March 19, 2003, hours before the American invasion began:
Make no mistake about it: the choice is indeed between two visions of the world.
To those who choose to use force and think they can resolve the world’s complexity through swift and preventive action, we offer in contrast determined action over time. [. . .]
To those who hope to eliminate the dangers of proliferation through armed intervention in Iraq, I wish to say that we regret that they are depriving themselves of a key tool for other crises of the same type. The Iraq crisis allowed us craft an instrument, through the inspections regime, which is unprecedented and can serve as an example. Why, on this basis not envision establishing an innovative, permanent structure, a disarmament body under the United Nations?
To those who think that the scourge of terrorism will be eradicated through the case of Iraq, we say they run the risk of failing in their objectives. The outbreak of force in this area which is so unstable can only exacerbate the tensions and fractures on which the terrorists feed. ...
(please read the entire speech. It's very short.)

Now the newly released Downing Street Memo of July 23, 2002, of course, shows that the new French Prime Minister gave too much credence to American goals and motives in Iraq, not too little:
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 Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections. [. . .]
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. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force. [. . .]
Read this whole document too (it's not much longer than the excerpts above) and think about how we were lied to about the reasons for war, the most serious act any nation can undertake. Think about how the UN weapons inspectors, who were in Iraq and who were physically dismantling rockets at the time, were removed for fear, not of Saddam, but of US invasion. Should a President who undertook a war of choice so cavalierly, and lied repeatedly to do so, really be allowed to remain in office? If presidential impeachment could be considered (and undertaken) by the Congress for semen stains on a dress, shouldn't it also be considered for this stain on our national honor?

Just asking,
True Blue Liberal

(If you want to do more than just ask, visit After Downing Street Dot Org to register your support and get more information on what you can do to keep this story alive)

6 comments:

cntodd said...

I've added you to the list

True Blue Liberal said...

Thanks. I see a lot of activity around the Big Brass Alliance this morning about The Memo.

With a little persistence, it may have some effect outside this community.

roger said...

right on! i say, doing my part to bring back the sixties.

great post!

alan s said...

Wow, Viva La France. France sucks if you think they are so great please move. I promise to provide air fare to you. Spoken like the true American Haters that Liberals are. The people of France told Chirac to kiss their behinds with the EU vote. Maybe the French people are getting more intelligent about their govenment. If you don't choose France maybe think about Canada. They do have the new Miss Universe.

True Blue Liberal said...

Thank you Alan for your intelligent, though slightly too predictable, contribution to this discussion. But what's your take on the importance of the Downing Street Memo?

alan s said...

A British Memo about President Bush. No one but Liberals believe this. This is the Dan Rather,Newsweek report in Britian. Stop hating America so much. Your love of George Soro's only goes to show you hate America. Why would you take what a true Nazi like Soro's is and run withit. He compares all Republicans to Nazi's even though he is a card carrier himself.