Oh, the hypocrisy.
What better things are there to do on a Friday than drink and be enraged by our government?
George Galloway was accused by our government of getting money in the oil-for-food scandel and initially denied the opportunity to come here and defend himself. However, on Thursday (I believe) he was given that opportunity. Go here to watch the 47 minutes of sheer insanity wherein our government, who has railed against the United Nations and who wants to appoint a man who hates the UN and wants to see it END, bitches. out. George Galloway for opposing the UN who apparently the United States government loves omgwtf all of a sudden.
Interestingly enough, I happen to have a copy of the Downing memo! What is the Downing memo? It’s a swell little read about high-ranking officials and Iraq and how our government, uh, lied to justify the uh, war in that one country.
Funny how we like to switch sides to make ourselves look good.
If you don’t hear from me again, it’s because
the government had me killed I tragically committed suicide by shooting myself in the head four times.
Read on for the memo…
The secret Downing Street memo
SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL – UK EYES ONLY
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02
cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir
Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan
Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell
IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER’S MEETING, 23 JULY
Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss
This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made.
It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its
John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment.
Saddam’s regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to
overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was
worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was
not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime
expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that
regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the
public was probably narrowly based.
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible
shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush
wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the
conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were
being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN
route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi
regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the
aftermath after military action.
CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August,
Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.
The two broad US options were:
(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short
(72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south.
Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to
(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000),
continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total
lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A
The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego
Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf
states were also important, but less vital. The three main options
for UK involvement were:
(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.
(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.
(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps
with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying
down two Iraqi divisions.
The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun “spikes of
activity” to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken,
but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action
to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the
US Congressional elections.
The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell
this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take
military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case
was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD
capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We
should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the
UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal
justification for the use of force.
The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a
legal base for military action. There were three possible legal
bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC
authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this
case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult.
The situation might of course change.
The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference
politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN
inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it
was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different
strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context
were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues
were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the
political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.
On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan
was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.
For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day
one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You
said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel,
added the Defence Secretary.
The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a
military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On
this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy,
there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should
explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-
ball with the UN.
John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in
only when he thought the threat of military action was real.
The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK
military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He
cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the
ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set
out the political context to Bush.
(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in
any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning
before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US
military that we were considering a range of options.
(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds
could be spent in preparation for this operation.
(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed
military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the
(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the
background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum
He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of
countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member
(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence
(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would
consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.
(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)
(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)