Thursday :: Nov 26, 2009

Ex Brit Ambassador On Bush Rush To War: "We Found Ourselves Scrabbling For The Smoking Gun"

by Turkana

It's old news that due to the Bush Administration's ravening desire to invade Iraq, the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. They wanted a war, and they were going to get one. It's old news that the Bush Administration was so demented in its war lust that it tortured people, to try to force that fixing of facts. Well, yet another insider has gone on the record. As reported by The Guardian:

The military timetable for an invasion of Iraq in 2003 did not give time for UN weapons inspectors in the country to do their job, the former British ambassador to Washington told the Iraq inquiry in London today.

Sir Christopher Meyer said the "unforgiving nature" of the build-up after American forces had been told to prepare for war meant that "we found ourselves scrabbling for the smoking gun".

He added: "It was another way of saying 'it's not that Saddam has to prove that he's innocent, we've now bloody well got to try and prove he's guilty.' And we – the Americans, the British – have never really recovered from that because of course there was no smoking gun."

The evidence keeps accumulating, and it is no longer possible for Bush apologists to deny the facts. The war was on, whether or not there was a valid reason for it. Which not only should be investigated as a crime against humanity, but which also undermined the war in Afghanistan. Which is extremely relevant, given that the Obama Administration is tasked with figuring out how to clean up the disaster Bush wrought. So, a little reminder, from a 2007 article in the New York Times:

At critical moments in the fight for Afghanistan, the Bush administration diverted scarce intelligence and reconstruction resources to Iraq, including elite C.I.A. teams and Special Forces units involved in the search for terrorists. As sophisticated Predator spy planes rolled off assembly lines in the United States, they were shipped to Iraq, undercutting the search for Taliban and terrorist leaders, according to senior military and intelligence officials.

As defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed credit for toppling the Taliban with light, fast forces. But in a move that foreshadowed America’s trouble in Iraq, he failed to anticipate the need for more forces after the old government was gone, and blocked an early proposal from Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, and Mr. Karzai, the administration’s handpicked president, for a large international force. As the situation deteriorated, Mr. Rumsfeld and other administration officials reversed course and cajoled European allies into sending troops.

When it came to reconstruction, big goals were announced, big projects identified. Yet in the year Mr. Bush promised a “Marshall Plan” for Afghanistan, the country received less assistance per capita than did postconflict Bosnia and Kosovo, or even desperately poor Haiti, according to a RAND Corporation study. Washington has spent an average of $3.4 billion a year reconstructing Afghanistan, less than half of what it has spent in Iraq, according to the Congressional Research Service.

In other words, this is yet another reason why it is necessary to hold complete and public investigations of how the Bush Administration lied us into war. Because it was Bush Administration dithering and getting distracted that left the war in Afghanistan such a mess for the Obama Administration to have to clean up. And did I mention that invading another country without cause might be considered a crime?

Turkana :: 11:05 AM :: Comments (46) :: Digg It!