New evidence has emerged that supports the notion that George Bush and Tony Blair planned on attacking Iraq regardless of a second UN resolution. From the Guardian:
A letter from Blair's private secretary reveals that "we and the US would take action" without a new resolution by the UN security council if UN weapons inspectors showed Saddam had clearly breached an earlier resolution. In that case, he "would not have a second chance".
That was the only way Britain could persuade the Bush administration to agree to a role for the UN and continuing work by UN weapons inspectors, the letter says.
Dated 17 October 2002, it was written by Matthew Rycroft to Mark Sedwill, private secretary to the foreign secretary, Jack Straw. "This letter is sensitive," Rycroft underlined. "It must be seen only by those with a real need to know its contents, and must not be copied further."
Anyone who paid attention during the lead up to the Iraq war should have been highly aware that the Bush administration and the Blair government were determined to attack Iraq regardless of evidence and regardless of legality. You could tell simply by the fact that there were no good reasons to pick on Iraq. There was no proven connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, no connection between Iraq and 9/11, and nothing other than extremely dubious photographic evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction and dodgy third hand information about yellowcake uranium in Niger. In reality, Iraq was a random Arab country that had lots of oil and no way of defending itself – the key ingredients for a quick land grab by two imperial powers.
I remember thinking everyone had gone mad – that no sane person could possibly buy into the nonsense put forward by the US and UK governments. As it turned out, the skeptics were correct and the entire premise for the war was exposed as a giant fraud. Amazingly, Bush and Blair got off scott free despite incinerating Iraq, losing billions of dollars and killing hundreds of thousands of people.
And even as the evidence continues to mount, there seems to be no talk of repercussion for the ex leaders now bringing in millions of dollars from after dinner speeches and bank consulting gigs.
While George Bush isn't bright enough to understand what he did, there is a part of Tony Blair who must know that what he did was wrong. Blair is an intelligent man, and revelations like the above will not be brushed aside easily. Unfortunately, the consequences of admitting even a portion of his hubris and deceit have the potential to unravel a bottomless well of wrong doing – and Blair just isn't brave enough to confront the demons he has gotten so used to living with.