Downing Street Memo – A Call to Action, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced ASZ readers to the Big Brass Alliance, and an action plan undertaken by the BBA and afterdowningstreet.com to force the Downing Street Memo into mainstream conciousness. Just as important as the action plan, though, is the need for a thorough understanding of what the fuss is [...]

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In Part 1 of this series, I introduced ASZ readers to the Big Brass Alliance, and an action plan undertaken by the BBA and afterdowningstreet.com to force the Downing Street Memo into mainstream conciousness. Just as important as the action plan, though, is the need for a thorough understanding of what the fuss is all about.

Ok, so it’™s 2005; the milk is long out of the bottle. Why should anyone care about the Downing Street Memo at this late date, regardless of whether one is a progressive or true conservative?

The most obvious reason is because, from the early days of public saber rattling against Saddam by the Bush administration, it was clear to many of us that America was lied into a war with Iraq. Nearly three years after the fact, we now have a document that clearly spells out there was never a ‘œPlan B’ which included diplomacy and negotiation with Iraq’™s leadership. War between two nations must always be a path of last resort, yet George Bush and his senior leadership team made military action the first and only option.

Not only does the Downing Street memo make this disinclination to diplomacy abundantly clear, but a long-forgotten briefing memo for National Security Council (NSC) principals from 2001, and another recent revelation, seem to corroborate the assertations in the Downing Street memo.

First, the NSC briefing memo. This past Sunday, the blog Corpus Callosum reminded us of the unclassified NSC briefing memo that ex-Treasury Secretary Paul O’™Neill passed onto author Ron Suskind, who included it as an attachment to the book, The Price of Loyalty. Dated Jan. 31, 2001, (less than two weeks after George Bush’™s first inauguration), the memo describes the first meeting of the NSC principals under President Bush. The meeting agenda is marked ‘œunclassified with secret attachments’; the attachments in question are described as:

Tab A: Agenda and Policy Questions from NSC ‘” SECRET

Tab B: Economic Background on Iraq (from Deutsche Bank)

Tab C: Executive Summary: Political-Military Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq Crisis (interagency working paper) ‘” SECRET

Tab D: Summary of United States Sanctions on Iraq

Tab E: ‘œIraq Sanctions Regime,’ State Department, for use in public statements

Here’™s a link to the original document from Suskind’™s book. The subject of Tab C seems exceptionally consistent with the assertations in the Downing Street memo.

Next, Bradblog sums up the more recent revelation regarding U.S. actions in Iraq during 2002:

‘¦This latest information on the covert way in which the Bush Administration may have pushed the world towards war is based on a new report from Rupert Murdoch’™s London Times which reported over the weekend that ‘œdespite the lack of an Iraqi reaction, the air war began anyway in September [of 2002] with a 100-plane raid.’


In fact, the original Downing Street Memo/Minutes mention that ‘œThe Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun ‘™spikes of activity’™ to put pressure on the regime.’

Indeed, recently released documents indicate that the U.S. and Brits dropped twice as many bombs and missiles on Iraq in 2002 as 2001, in an apparent attempt to goad Saddam into retaliatory action – ergo, justification for the war that Bush and Blair had already decided upon.

So, the reason every American should care: it is flat out troubling that the words of the Bush administration, before congress and before the world, did not mesh with the actions that were taking place behind the scenes as early as 2001. It appears more and more that intelligence was intentionally filtered and fixed around a policy of pre-emptive war with Iraq. This comes as no surprise to many of us who have closely followed these events. To others who are less tuned in (or tuned in only to Fox) it would indeed be a rude awakening to the disaster that Iraq has become to America.

It’™s time for some answers.

And some action.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq

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