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June 13, 2005

Well, that's no surprise.

Just found this article, which concerns the revelation that the UK government knew the Yanks were not ready to invade Iraq but decided they had to justify the invasion anyway. It's one of a long series of articles about the Downing Street Meno that are sweeping the media. Some people have apparently made moves to impeach GW Bush for abuse of power.

I can only say that this makes sense of what made no sense to me at the time: the Coalition's determination to proceed despite what I could only see was inconclusive evidence to back them up. It also supports my personal view that, although the US would win the fight quickly, and there were good arguments for invading and for not invading, they were not culturally equipped to leave Iraq a better place than the hell-hole it already was. In fact, it demonstrates that they had not even considered the issue. This is despicable behaviour.

Interesting that I can't recall any mention of this in the Australian media (not that I've been paying much attention). The SMH World page online makes no mention of it, focusing instead on the World debt deal and Bush's pleas to heal the rift between Shi'ite and Sunni leaders in Iraq's new government. News.com.au doesn't mention it, either, only noting that a prominent Republican supporter of the war, Walter Jones, now wants a firm timetable for withdrawal of US forces (but that seems to be more because he's seen the horrible reality of the consequences up close). Even the ABC mentions only that the Iraqis have accused the Yank Air Force of firing "indiscriminately" in Western Iraq.

Yet the Times of London and Washington Post, among others, have given it plenty of air. The Times, notes, however, that there's an air of over-caution in the US media following revelations of made-up stories (eg Jayson Blair). Since the Post's Ombudsman has criticised the paper for its failure to ask tough questions of Bush, however, it will be interesting to see how they, and th rest of the US media, respond. The Times is promising more for this weekend ...

Of course, this debunks John Howard's only defence for getting involved: that we were acting on the best intelligence we had. We weren't. And he's damned whether he knew we weren't, in which case he lied too, or whether he didn't, in which case he's taken us in on blind faith in G W Bush. Not good policy!

Big events indeed, but all too little too late for the dead. Pity there wasn't more scrutiny earlier on. One day our species will accept the futility of armed conflict.

Posted by Hughie at June 13, 2005 11:48 AM

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