Memo Reveals Bush’s Plan To Provoke War With Iraq When No WMD Found

The Guardian presents evidence that George Bush desired to fabricate a reason to invade Iraq when he realized that no WMD would be found in Iraq:

A confidential record of a meeting between President Bush and Tony Blair before the invasion of Iraq, outlining their intention to go to war without a second United Nations resolution, will be an explosive issue for the official inquiry into the UK’s role in toppling Saddam Hussein.

The memo, written on 31 January 2003, almost two months before the invasion and seen by the Observer, confirms that as the two men became increasingly aware UN inspectors would fail to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) they had to contemplate alternative scenarios that might trigger a second resolution legitimising military action.

Bush told Blair the US had drawn up a provocative plan “to fly U2 reconnaissance aircraft painted in UN colours over Iraq with fighter cover”. Bush said that if Saddam fired at the planes this would put the Iraqi leader in breach of UN resolutions.

The president expressed hopes that an Iraqi defector would be “brought out” to give a public presentation on Saddam’s WMD or that someone might assassinate the Iraqi leader. However, Bush confirmed even without a second resolution, the US was prepared for military action. The memo said Blair told Bush he was “solidly with the president”.

The five-page document, written by Blair’s foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning, and copied to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK ambassador to the UN, Jonathan Powell, Blair’s chief of staff, the chief of the defence staff, Admiral Lord Boyce, and the UK’s ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, outlines how Bush told Blair he had decided on a start date for the war.

Paraphrasing Bush’s comments at the meeting, Manning, noted: “The start date for the military campaign was now pencilled in for 10 March. This was when the bombing would begin.”

Last night an expert on international law who is familar with the memo’s contents said it provided vital evidence into the two men’s frames of mind as they considered the invasion and its aftermath and must be presented to the Chilcott inquiry established by Gordon Brown to examine the causes, conduct and consequences of the Iraq war.

It is good that such information on the war is beginning to be investigated. It is a shame that this is being done in foreign countries but not here in the United States.  In retrospect, as all the arguments for the war were proven to be false, there are only two possible conclusions. Either George Bush intentionally lied to start a war or he was incompetent in believing arguments which contradicted the facts. This memo suggests the former explanation.

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  1. 1
    George Bush News says:

    Memo Reveals Bush’s Plan To Provoke War With Iraq When No WMD …

  2. 2
    George Bush News says:

    Memo Reveals Bush's Plan To Provoke War With Iraq When No WMD …

  3. 3
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    How reliable is Wikipedia? I really don’t know. That being said, according to wiki, entry on Resolution 1441- there are Ten previous resolutions mentioned. Ten…Olivia Munn, a perfect 10. Ah, where was I? Anyway, resolution 1441 had a number of terms that Saddam had breached in addition to the alledged WMD. When I was in the first Gulf War I had “Remember the Stark” written on the cat eyes band around my helmet. Kristin the water. What? My point uh? Even the late William Buckley dissented…where is that post on Zoe Saldana? It is critical to the point I’m trying to………. 🙂

  4. 4
    Stephen Lambert says:

    Memo Reveals Bush’s Plan To Provoke War With Iraq When No WMD …

  5. 5
    George Bush News says:

    Memo Reveals Bush's Plan To Provoke War With Iraq When No WMD …

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Violations of UN sanctions is not sufficient to justify Bush going to war. It is up to the UN to decide upon the response to violations of UN sanctions and the UN opposed going to war.

  7. 7
    Stephen Lambert says:

    Memo Reveals Bush’s Plan To Provoke War With Iraq When No WMD …

  8. 8
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    My main question, and it is only a question, why do you use the term “second resolution” as opposed to “eleventh resolution” or just another resolution? To hazard a guess, do you mean, without a specific U.N. resolution that would have supported a military invasion? A number of conservatives, such as the late William Buckley saw the invasion of Iraq as a wrong move. I’ve flip flopped myself on my feelings toward Iraq, when they were fighting Iran back in the Jimmy Carter hostage crisis days I was all for Saddam, evil as he was even then. On the other hand, if Iraq consistantly refused to follow the terms of their surrender when it came to inspections of suspected weapons faucilities, I don’t know why we, the U.S. couldn’t have just had limited military strikes. Saddam did horrific things, but a lot of places in the world horrific things occur, I would have been more in favor of a military intervention in Rwanda to have stopped that holocaust back in the 90’s.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    “Second resolution” is from the quoted section. I assumed they meant a resolution to authorize a second war. Actually there are multiple UN resolutions regarding Iraq but I assume they were only concerned with ones authorizing war.

  10. 10
    Christoher Skyi says:

    Good God!  I wonder what the real reasons were?  Was it simply oil (they are sitting the world’s second largest reserves)?  Real fear of a future cooperation between Iraq and terrorists?  A potential counter-weight to Iran?
    Probably all of the above.
    I’ve often wondered if a given government refuses to live w/in it’s means, spends way Way WAY then they could ever realistic tax, might decide to extends its reach and influence into another county’s resources.
    Radical leftist would have us believe that corporations lead the way in this, but I think it’s the U.S. government seeking more and more power & global influence, and business interested are co-opted along the way.  The rest of us are simply lied to . . .

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:


    We will probably never find out Bush’s real reasons. It could be the reasons you mentioned. I also wonder if to some degree Bush was motivated by factors such as wanting to show he could knock off Saddam when his father couldn’t.

  12. 12
    Christoher Skyi says:

    I think it goes much much deeper than that.  It ultimately has to do with empire building, and there’s a long long history of that. In fact — it’s probably the driving factor in human history.
    One of the very best resources for understanding Iraq and current U.S. foreign policy position in the world today is Paul Kennedy’s terrific:
    The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500 to 2000
    published over 15 years ago, it’s still a best selling, and wonderfully written.
    Some points:
    “Great Power ascendency (over the long-term or in specific conflicts) correlates strongly to available resources and economic durability; military “over-stretch” and a concomitant relative decline is the consistent threat facing powers whose ambitions and security requirements are greater than their resource base can provide for.”
    “He compares the Great Powers at the close of the twentieth century and predicts the decline of the Soviet Union (the book was originally published on the cusp of the Soviet collapse, the suddenness of which Kennedy did not predict), the rise of China and Japan, the struggles and potential for the EEC, and the relative decline of the United States. He highlights the precedence of the “four modernizations” in Deng Xiaoping‘s plans for China—agriculture, industry, science and military—deemphasizing military while the United States and the Soviet Union are emphasizing it. He predicts that continued deficit spending, especially on military build-up, will be the single most important reason for decline of any Great Power.”
    The “real” reasons for invading Iraq are actually very very old and universal, and they can traced back to historical precedences (read Kennedy’s book). They signals the start of the a great power’s decline.
    Historically, it’s been inevitable.   I saw Obama as a partial solution to this decline, but he’s got to get spending under control or the pressure to rationalize military/economic  intervention for Mercantilistic ends.  Adam Smith’s writing are still the potent arguments against mecantilism, i.e.,
    The Austrian School of economics, always an opponent of mercantilism, describes it this way:

    Mercantilism, which reached its height in the Europe of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was a system of statism which employed economic fallacy to build up a structure of imperial state power, as well as special subsidy and monopolistic privilege to individuals or groups favored by the state. Thus, mercantilism held exports should be encouraged by the government and imports discouraged.[34]


  13. 13
    Christoher Skyi says:

    I saw Obama as a partial solution to this decline, but he’s got to get spending under control or the pressure to rationalize military/economic  intervention for Mercantilistic ends will GROW.

  14. 14
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    Chris- For the most part I have to disagree with you on this. How could it be for oil or empire building if the oil isn’t being seized? Given Bush’s connection to oil, if it wasn’t to take someone else’s oil, it might be to destablize the market to push the price up. But I would think leaving Saddam in power would be as big or bigger destablizer if that was the intent. Now if you were to believe that just kind of being the control over the country and it’s resource was enough to “build an empire” without actually taking the resource, I guess I can imagine what you think of government tinkering with more than what it already does in areas of health, transportation,and tobacco commodities. I’ve never even considered GB junior trying one upmanship on his dad. And as far as getting away with just outright taking things, although they didn’t do it, I’m convinced if the Bush administration had wanted to, they could have come up with some kind of pretext to do just that. So, IMO, the empire thing kind of rings hollow.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    What has occurred in Iraq since the invasion may or may not provide evidence of what the initial goals were. Mike could be right and the goal was never to seize the oil and use Iraq as the start of an empire in the middle east. It is also possible that these were the goals but had to be abandoned when things didn’t go as they thought they would in Iraq.

    Another problem with speculating on the intentions is that there were several players who pushed for war, and different ones might have had different motivations. It was also probably a combination of factors. There is evidence they wanted to go into Iraq before 9/11 but (even if not justified) the 9/11 attack could have added to the reasons in their minds.

  16. 16
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    ….Mike COULD be right…I’m going to have to frame that one on my wall. 🙂 It also reminds me that I better check that I’m not drifting from being the hardcore ideolog that I am. I’ve got to go back to my chanting now..(Walking off chanting “All fed expenses except military, bad.” )

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