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Tuesday, June 07, 2005 

Bush, Blair Claim DSM Wrong; Their Previous Actions Prove Otherwise

President Bush and Prime Minister Blair attempted to dismiss the contents of the DSM in a press conference today: (full text of the press conference can be found here, video of this excerpt can be found here)

Q Thank you, sir. On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street memo from July 2002 says intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military action. Is this an accurate reflection of what happened? Could both of you respond?

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Well, I can respond to that very easily. No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all. And let me remind you that that memorandum was written before we then went to the United Nations. Now, no one knows more intimately the discussions that we were conducting as two countries at the time than me. And the fact is we decided to go to the United Nations and went through that process, which resulted in the November 2002 United Nations resolution, to give a final chance to Saddam Hussein to comply with international law. He didn't do so. And that was the reason why we had to take military action.

Blair seems to have tripped himself up with the facts a bit there. As previously noted on, the British government, including Blair himself, have never disputed the document's authenticity. Thus, the British government has said (1) the contents of the memo are undisputed and now (2) the document was written and reflects the reality before they went to the UN. This further solidifies the case that going to the UN was just a sham.

President Bush didn't fare much better when confronted with the truth:

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I -- you know, I read kind of the characterisations of the memo, particularly when they dropped it out in the middle of his race. I'm not sure who "they dropped it out" is, but -- I'm not suggesting that you all dropped it out there. (Laughter.) And somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth.

My conversation with the Prime Minister was, how could we do this peacefully, what could we do. And this meeting, evidently, that took place in London happened before we even went to the United Nations -- or I went to the United Nations. And so it's -- look, both us of didn't want to use our military. Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option. The consequences of committing the military are -- are very difficult. The hardest things I do as the President is to try to comfort families who've lost a loved one in combat. It's the last option that the President must have -- and it's the last option I know my friend had, as well.

And so we worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully, take a -- put a united front up to Saddam Hussein, and say, the world speaks, and he ignored the world. Remember, 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously. He made the decision. And the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.

This response by President Bush is his common defense to accusations that he misled our nation into war. His response typically follows this format: (1) war was a last resort; (2) diplomatic measures were exhausted (even though they were not); and (3) the world is better off without Saddam in power. This trifecta of excuses though does not comport with reality, and indeed, does not address the contents of the DSM itself.

 posted by Georgia  # 9:22 PM  
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