I’m sure there are some people who still doubt that Bush decided to attack Iraq immediately after 9/11, in spite of the fact that the 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabian and Iraq had nothing to do with it at all. So:
PRESIDENT George Bush first asked Tony Blair to support the removal of Saddam Hussein from power at a private White House dinner nine days after the terror attacks of 11 September, 2001.
According to Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British Ambassador to Washington, who was at the dinner when Blair became the first foreign leader to visit America after the strikes using hijacked jets, Blair told Bush he should not get distracted from the war on terror’s initial goal—dealing with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Meyer claims Bush replied: ‘I agree with you, Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.’ Regime change was already US policy.
It was clear, Meyer says, ‘that when we did come back to Iraq it wouldn’t be to discuss smarter sanctions’. Elsewhere in his interview, Meyer says Blair always believed it was unlikely that Saddam would be removed from power or give up his weapons of mass destruction without a war.
Faced with this prospect of a further war, he adds, Blair ‘said nothing to demur’.
Details of this extraordinary conversation will be published this week in a 25,000-word article on the path to war with Iraq in the May issue of the American magazine Vanity Fair. It provides new corroboration of the claims made last month in a book by Bush’s former counter-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke, that Bush was ‘obsessed’ with Iraq as his principal target after 9/11.
Back in the days of the Clinton trials, you may recall certain smug Europeans opining that there would never be a fuss about something that trivial in their countries.
Well, the current focus of scandal in the UK is Tony Blair. The horrible scandal? Well, it’s all a bit complicated, but I’ll attempt a brief summary:
There’s a well-known con man named Peter Foster. His girlfriend, Carole Caplin, is a former topless model. Tony Blair’s wife Cherie employed Carole Caplin as a therapeutic masseuse.
That’s not the scandal. No, the scandal is that allegedly Carole Caplin was also given responsibility for buying Tony Blair’s underpants.
I could accept that this was worth reporting it if it was the “silly season”—the summer, during which newspapers desperate for any old crap to fill the pages will print just about anything. But come on, people, it’s March. Who really cares if Carole Caplin went to MS to pick up some Y-fronts for the PM?
The UK Foreign Office has just posted the new versions of the postal voter registration forms. It looks as if it’s now possible for me to just fill in a form, send it off, and get registered to vote in forthcoming elections.
The previous procedure was a typical bureaucratic obstacle course: find the nearest British Consulate (they don’t tell you the address), write to them, ask for a form, wait for them to mail it out, complete the form, get it witnessed by someone else who is a British Citizen but doesn’t live in the UK, mail it in with copies of your birth certificate and/or passport, wait for the notification that you’re registered, then write again to request forms to vote.
So, there’s a faint chance I might be able to vote against Tony Blair if the election is delayed due to the ongoing mass barbecue.