Politics

Bush Insists ‘I Didn’t Want War,’ Overwhelming Evidence Suggests Otherwise

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    In his press conference this morning, President Bush claimed he had not made up his mind to go to war before the start of the military invasion:

    On Iraq, Bush bristled at a suggestion that he had wanted to wage war against that country since early in his presidency. “I didn’t want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong … with all due respect,” he told a reporter. “No president wants war.” To those who say otherwise, “it’s simply not true,” Bush said.

    Bush appears to be the only person left who believes his own myth that he went to war with Iraq as a last resort. The evidence is overwhelming to the contrary:

    British Memo — Bush, Blair Agreed to Invade In Late Jan. 2003:

    A memo of a two-hour meeting between [Bush and Blair] at the White House on January 31 2003 – nearly two months before the invasion – reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second UN resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme. [Guardian, 2/3/06]

    British Memo — Bush Had Made Up His In July 2002:

    It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. [Downing Street Minutes, 7/23/02]

    Bush Suggested War Against Iraq Nine Days After 9/11:

    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. [The Observer, 4/4/04]

    Richard Clarke Said Bush Pushed Him To Make Case for Iraq War:

    Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism director: “Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq. And we all said … no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. “¦ The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, ‘I want you to find whether Iraq did this.’ Now he never said, ‘Make it up.’ But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this. [CBS 60 Minutes, 3/21/04]

    Rumsfeld Suggested War Against Iraq on 9/11:

    Rumsfeld’s instruction to General Myers on 9/11: Find the “[b]est info fast “¦judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time – not only UBL [Usama Bin Laden]” [Rumsfeld’s notes, 9/11/01]

    Former Bush Treasury Secretary Said Bush Wanted To Go To War:

    In a CBS “60 Minutes” interview, former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said, “From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go.” O’Neill says in The Price of Loyalty: “It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying, ‘Go find me a way to do this.'” [CBS, 1/11/04]

    Gen. Tommy Franks — Military and Equipment Moved to Iraq In Feb. 2002:

    Former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham related a conversation he had with General Tommy Franks in February 2002, 14 months before the initiation of the Iraq war. Franks said, “Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan”¦ Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq”¦ We can finish this job in Afghanistan if we are allowed to do so.” [Bob Graham, Intelligence Matters, p. 125-126]