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The Most Interesting Thing I Have Read Recently

This transcript is absolutely fascinating. JMG at Barcepundit points out all the reasons it does not say what the anti-war Bush haters say it does, but beyond that, it is just an incredibly interesting insight into the thought processes of leaders. The transcript is of the memo of a conversation between President Bush and Spain's former PM Aznar in Crawford in March 2003 as the Iraq war was about to start.

If anything, the transcript proves precisely the opposing point that critics want to make. The conversation shows both Bush and Aznar trying to avoid war; that they were concerned of its human toll, and that Saddam wanted to flee with money... and WMD information. I guess all the people who are trumpeting this will stop saying now that Bush lied and mislead us on the WMD issue. Won't hold my breath, though.

At one point Bush explicitely says: "Yo no quiero la guerra. Sé lo que son las guerras. Sé la destrucción y la muerte que traen consigo. Yo soy el que tiene que consolar a las madres y a las viudas de los muertos. Por supuesto, para nosotros esa sería la mejor solución. Además, nos ahorraría 50.000 millones de dólares" ["I don't want war. I know what war is like. I know the death and destruction they bring. I am the one who has to comfort the mothers and wives of the dead. Of course, for us [a diplomatic solution] would be the best one. Also, it would save 50 billion dollars" -- again, my emphasis and translation]

Bush even wanted to soften the rivalry with Chirac, and thought he was being ill-advised. He even asked Aznar to send the French president his best wishes, since Aznar was going to meet him in the next days.

Read the entire post. Barcepundit goes into the various places and ways the memo is mischaracterized. I am used to that, unfortunately, but what I am not used to is being "in on" such an important conversation. It puts you right back into the mindset leading up to the war. We believed (by "we" I include Bill Clinton, John Kerry, the UN, the French, etc.) that Saddam possessed WMD and wanted to use it against the US. We had just experienced 9/11 and had vowed that never again would we allow a known threat to be ignored. It also shows the humanity and compassion of the President who is well aware of the consequences of war and not at all taking them lightly. I just wish he had been better able to convey that to the American public. I am convinced that history's view of the lead up to the war will be much different than what our 24/7 cable news cycle reporting has has been. Thanks to Barcepundit for the improved translation and for the excellent post. Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds.


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Comments (20)

I'm just amazed to see KKKa... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

I'm just amazed to see KKKarl Rove at work in this depth. Obviously he was the one who planted the mistaken belief into Saddams head that he himself had WMD's, when we all know that those were fictions cooked up by Chimpy and the rethuglicans.

Liberals sure blabber a lot... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Liberals sure blabber a lot about tolerence but sure dont practice it

brainy435 - yep right on cu... (Below threshold)
marc:

brainy435 - yep right on cue. And only 30 minutes to.

brainy435 you should be sooooo "proud" being not only the first troll to infest the thread but the first of the new day.

Congrats dickweed. You can pick-up your winner's trophy at the third door on the left. It's marked "asshats only."

Personally, I took brainy43... (Below threshold)

Personally, I took brainy435's comment as satire - impersonating a typical leftist bozo. Exaggeration to make the point. Heck, even our moonbats don't froth like that ('cept maybe ReFriedbrains or whatever his name is).

Concerning WMDs - recall that not only did every intelligence service with an opinion believe Saddam had WMDs and was seeking to expand his programs (including the French, the Saudis, the Israelis, the Jordanians, the British, the Germans, the Italians, the Russians, the Turks, the Egyptians, and the Czechs, among others), but he also acted, through two separate UN inspection regimes, as if he had them.

It made no sense that Saddam would thwart inspections if he didn't have WMDs to hide, because of the severe sanctions Iraq was under due to his failure to comply. Now, of course, we know (after the fact) he was evading sanctions through the UN Oil for Food program - a financial theft that dwarfs all the corporate scandals in recorded history in the total amount which disappeared - and by simply evading them with the help of other nations eager to profit, including some on the unfortunately named "Security Council."

The left is quite adept at rewriting history, though. By now, they should be - they've been perfecting the art since Stalin.

marc, get a little sleep an... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

marc, get a little sleep and then re-read the brainy435 post.

DANG, Jim A. got in just be... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

DANG, Jim A. got in just before me :-p

Personally, I took... (Below threshold)
marc:
Personally, I took brainy435's comment as satire - impersonating a typical leftist bozo.
If so I apoligise.

If not, i the infamous words of a certain un-named moonbat, screw'em.

marc, get a little... (Below threshold)
marc:
marc, get a little sleep and then re-read the brainy435 post.
No need it's 2 in the afternoon here.
Ha! That is funny Brainy, ... (Below threshold)

Ha! That is funny Brainy, but you forgot to include Halliburton.

Good point about Oil for Fo... (Below threshold)

Good point about Oil for Food, Jim. Just think. Many liberals complain that we were too tough on Saddam, but they would have crucified Ken Lay if they could have.

"I don't want war. I know w... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

"I don't want war. I know what war is like."
Yep...after being trained as a pilot Bush volunteered to go to Viet Nam...(ya know some Reserves did)
Sorry..the only ones who know what war is like are those of us who have been in a firefight...
I really hope folks are watching the PBS War.
These are folks that know what "war is like"

You utterly miss the point,... (Below threshold)
kim:

You utterly miss the point, nogo. This war was justified; we were not lied into it. Joe Wilson's fable will eventually fail.
====================

Kim, to tell us NOGO misses... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Kim, to tell us NOGO misses the point is like telling us the clouds are white. The sun comes up in the East. Lefties are loonies. ww

anonislove: "b... (Below threshold)

anonislove:

"bush lied about WMDs and fabricated evidence..." Yup. And he planted false memory chips in the brains of dozens of other country's intel analysts to make them believe it too. Or was that Karl Rove? I fergit.

"...and you think he'll re-invent the nuke while he's on the run?" No, he would never help another rogue nation who gave him sanctuary to develop nukes. Would he? Nah.

"...so what if saddam was defrauding the UN? he KILLED MILLIONS OF HIS OWN CITIZENS to put that bullshit in perspective,..." You moron. It was thru his abuse of OFF that many of his citizens died. And so what if some of your very own hard earned dollars put gold plated faucets in his bathrooms while his citizens starved and died of disease. So what. Right?

"...and we don't seem to care about darfur,..." Yeah, we don't care at all. That why the US alone has sent over a billion dollars in aid to Darfur. That's why the US is willing to call it what it is, "genocide", and other countries who pledged, thru the UN in 1948, that they would prevent and punish genocide won't call it that because then they would be obliged to atually DO something about it.

"who cares what the real reason was for this mess?" Well, YOU obviously do. And you've proved that by making shit up because the reality is just too much for you to bear.

"GUESS I JUST ANOTHER CRAZY LEFTY AMIRITE" Translation: BARKBARKBARK

And to top off your entire unimaginative and obtuse screed you accuse others of using a racial epithet by concluding with a homophobic one.

Nice job, dipstick.

Drudge is also reporting th... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Drudge is also reporting that Saddam agreed to go into exile for $1 billion.

Of course the moonbats are already hard at it: "we could have solved this thing for only $1 billion and no casualties!!!"

Ah, how simple life is in fantasyland. Unfortunately in the real world, things are a wee bit more complex.

Buying off Saddam for $1 billion would have accomplished what, exactly?

Saddam would be $1 billion richer and relaxing in cushy digs somewhere, probably Syria.

The corrupt Oil For Food program would never have been exposed, and the Baathists would have escaped with all the money they stole from their people.

Saddam, Uday, and Qusay and everyone else from that detestable ruling elite would never have been held accountable for their crimes.

The Saddam puppet government, no doubt still controlled by the Husseins, would most probably still have continued to provide financial and material support for terrorists.

The Saddam puppet government would most probably have pushed for the lifting of the UN sanctions, and would most probably have brought the chem/bio weapons labs out of mothballs and -- considering the speed of progress in the Iranian nuclear program, and how much the Baathists hated Iran -- would have started up the Iraqi nuclear enrichment program again. Wow, a nuclear race between Iraq and Iran. I feel safer already.

And so on and so forth.

But as I said, life is so much simpler when you live in fantasy land.

"We believed (by "we" I inc... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"We believed (by "we" I include ... the UN, ... etc.) that Saddam possessed WMD." -- Lorie Byrd

You mean the UN Weapons Inspectors who found absolutely no WMD???? Well, Lorie???

Lorie, while I know it's hard for a conservative, please try to think before writing.

Herman, take your own advic... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Herman, take your own advice. The UN had a long list of WMD program material that was unaccounted for.

If Herman had even the slig... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

If Herman had even the slightest amount of intelligence, knowledge, honesty and intergrity he would realize that saying:

"You mean the UN Weapons Inspectors who found absolutely no WMD????"

Is just as big a lie as it would be if someone said: "The UN Weapons Inspectors found numerous massive stockpiles of WMD."

Saddam would be $1 billi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Saddam would be $1 billion richer and relaxing in cushy digs somewhere, probably Syria.

And 3800 dead Americans would be alive, and tens of thousands more would not have had their lives interrupted.

So not worth it.

With all the plans for WMD,... (Below threshold)
kim:

With all the plans for WMD, with the will and the means. So, worth it.
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