The Bush Memo: Grounds for impeachment?

A couple of days ago I passed by the blog of Juan Cole and found this post, in which he has seletced passages from the  translated secret Bush-Aznar Memo regarding Iraq in the run up to the war. Juan has selected parts of the transcript and spun them in a way to meet his agenda, which is dishonest and disgusting. Having the entire Memo translated by PJM's Jose Guardia, it's easy to see how much of a spin mesiter Juan Cole is, and we are awarded a glimpse of what went down in the run-up to the war in Bush's head, which I suspect is not what many people suspect at all. For example:

Bush: Saddam won’t change and will keep playing
games. The moment of getting rid of him has arrived. That’s it. As for
me, from now on, I’ll try to use the most subtle rhetoric I can, while
we look for the resolution to be approved. If some country vetoes [the
resolution] we’ll go in. Saddam is not disarming. We must catch him
right now. We have shown an incredible amount of patience until now. We
have two weeks. In two weeks, our military will be ready. I think we’ll
achieve a second resolution. In the Security Council, we have three
African countries [Cameroon, Angola, Guinea], the Chileans, the
Mexicans. I’ll talk with all of them, also with Putin, naturally. We’ll
be in Baghdad at the end of March. There’s a 15% chance that Saddam
will be dead by then or will have flown. But these possibilities won’t
be there until we have shown our resolution. The Egyptians are talking
with Saddam Hussein. It seems he has hinted he’d be willing to leave if
he’s allowed to take 1 billion dollars and all the information on WMDs.
Ghadaffi told Berlusconi that Saddam wants to leave. Mubarak tells us
that in these circumstances there is a big chance that he’ll get killed.

We would like to act with the mandate of the UN. If we act
militarily, we’ll do it with great precision and focus on our targets
to as high a degree as possible. We’ll decimate the loyal troops, and
the regular army will quickly know what it’s all about. We sent a very
clear message to Saddam Hussein’s generals: we will treat them as war
criminals. We know they have stocked big amounts of dynamite to blow up
the bridges and other infrastructure, and the oil wells. We are
planning to take control of those wells very soon. Also, the Saudis
will help us by putting as much oil as necessary on the market. We are
developing a very strong aid package. We can win without destruction.
We are already working on the post-Saddam Iraq, and I think there’s a
basis for a better future. Iraq has a good bureaucracy and a relatively
strong civil society. It could be organized as a federation. Meanwhile
we’re doing all we can to fulfill the political needs of our friends
and allies.

Aznar: It’s very important to have that second
resolution. It will be very different to act with or without it. It
will be very advisable to have a sufficient majority in the Security
Council backing that resolution. In fact, having that majority is more
important than whether some country vetoes. We think that the
resolution should, among other things, clearly state that Saddam
Hussein has squandered his opportunity.

Bush: Yes, of course. That would be better to mention than “the necessary means.”

Aznar: Saddam Hussein hasn’t cooperated, hasn’t
disarmed – we should summarize all his non-compliance and make a more
elaborate message. That, for example, would allow Mexico to change [its
opposition].

Bush: The resolution will be made in a way that can help you. I don’t care much about the actual content.

Aznar: We’ll send you some text.

Bush: We don’t have any text. We only have one
goal: that Saddam must disarm. We can’t allow Saddam to drag his heels
until the summer. After all, he has had four months in this last stage,
and that’s more than enough time to disarm.

Hmmm… It gets better. Check out what they said about Chirac.

Aznar: I’m meeting Chirac next Wednesday [February 16]. The resolution will be circulating by now.

Bush: I think this is a great idea. Chirac knows
the situation perfectly. His intelligence services have explained it
all to him. The Arabs are sending Chirac a very clear message: Saddam
Hussein must go. The problem is that Chirac thinks he is “Mister Arab,”
and the truth is that he’s making their lives impossible. But I don’t
want any rivalry with Chirac. We certainly have different points of
view, but I’d like that to be all. Give him my best regards. True! The
less rivalry he feels there is between us, the better it’ll be for us
all.

So Bush didn't want rivalry with Chirac. Ok! That doesn;t sound like the Bush we know from the Media. But surely he is very pro-war, right?

Aznar: Is it true that there’s a chance that Saddam will go into exile?

Bush: Yes, there is. There’s even a chance that he’ll be assassinated.

Aznar: An exile with some kind of guarantees?

Bush: No guarantees. He’s a thief, a terrorist, a
war criminal. Compared to Saddam, Milosevic would be a Mother Teresa.
When we go in, we are going to discover many more crimes, and we’ll
take him to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Saddam
Hussein believes he has escaped. He thinks that France and Germany have
stopped the process of his prosecution. He also thinks that last week’s
anti-war demonstrations [Saturday, February 15] protect him. And he
believes I’m weakened. But people around him know that things are
totally different. They know their future is in exile or in a coffin.
This is why it’s so important to keep the pressure up. Ghaddafi is
indirectly telling us that this is the only thing that can finish him.
Saddam’s only strategy is delay, delay, delay.

Aznar: Actually, the best success would be to win the game without firing a single shot when entering Baghdad.

Bush: To me, it would be the best outcome. I don’t
want war. I know what war is like. I know the death and destruction
they bring. I am the one who has to comfort the mothers and wives of
the dead. Of course, for us [a diplomatic solution] would be the best
one. Also, it would save 50 billion dollars.

Bush didn't want war?? WHAT???

Aznar: What we are doing is a very profound change
for Spain and the Spanish citizens. We are changing the last 200 years
of the country’s politics.

Bush: I’m guided by a historical sense of
responsibility, as you are. When history judges us in a few years, I
don’t want people wondering why Bush, Aznar, or Blair didn’t confront
their responsibilities. At the end of the day, what people want is to
enjoy freedom. A short time ago, in Romania, I was reminded of
Ceaucescu’s example: it only took a woman to call him a liar for the
whole regime to come crumbling down. It’s the irrepressible power of
freedom. I’m convinced I’ll achieve the resolution.

Aznar: That’s better than good.

Bush: I made the decision of going to the Security
Council. In spite of some internal disagreements within my
administration, I told my people that we needed to work with our
friends. It will be great to have a second resolution.

Aznar: The only thing that worries me about you is your optimism.

Bush: I’m optimistic because I believe I’m doing
the right thing. I am at peace with myself. We have the responsibility
of facing a serious threat to peace. It irks me tremendously to
contemplate the insensitivity of Europeans toward the suffering that
Saddam inflicts on the Iraqis. Maybe because he’s dark-skinned,
distant, and Muslim, many Europeans think that all this doesn’t matter.
I will never forget what Solana [European High Representative of the
Common Foreign and Security Policy] asked me once: why do Americans
think that Europeans are anti-Semitic and unable to confront their
responsibilities? That defensive attitude is terrible. 

Ok, so let's recap. Bush wanted to work with and through the UN, he didn't want to fight with Chirac, who knew that Saddam had the weapons and had the encouragment from the arab states to support the war, but didn't because he thought he knew better? And not only that, Bush didn't even want to go to war, but wouldn't allow Saddam to loot the country and get away with his crimes, which he believed should be tried for in the International Court of Justice?

Ok, well, all of that sounds great and reasonable. One question though: How did we get here from there?

 This War will give Historians headaches for decades to come I fear!

Facebook creepiness finally exploited

*This post is only relevant to Facebookers. So if you are a MySpace user or are not on any social network, you have no reason to read this. If you are an HI5 user, please shoot yourself now! Seriously!*

I have warned the people on Facebook about third-party applications before, how it gives people they don't know and aren't part of the Facebook staff (read: people you can't really sue) complete access to their information. Well, some listened, but the majority didn't, and now there is a price to be paid for your privacy: 9.95$ to be exact. The people who made the "Compare Friends" application, on which people vote anonymously and give their true opinions of their friends, well, are acting like a stoolies and offering to sell the information "Who thinks what about you" for 9.95 on Paypal for anyone who wants to buy it. That could be you, your bestfriend, or your sworn enemy who wants to destroy your relationship with your best friend. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, those applications usually are, as people who use them keep telling me.  Well, I bet you are having a blast now, dontcha?

An apology on Cannabis

Cannabis? Addictive? Physically addictive? What?

Brave New World!

The CIA is now running ads on TV for recruitment (see here and here ). I guess with the Private Intelligence agencies springing up all over, they have to compete with the market, no?

There are also Private military operations companies in case you are wondering. Blackwater has to be my favorite. I mean, you gotta love their Global Stabalization services, no?

Hershed!

So yesterday I went to the AUC to hear Seymor Hersh speak. I must say I had only heard of the man in passing, and knew that he was the guy who broke out the Abu Gharib story, but beyond that I had no prejudices going in. And then I read who was presenting him, and those Prejudices went right out of the window. You see, the man was brought to us by the Heikal foundation for Journalism, as in Mohamed Hassanein Heikal. For those unfamiliar with the man, he wrote the book on crony journalism and regime propaganda. This is the man who crafted the image of Nasser for the egyptian people for over almost 2 decades, creating and crafting his personality cult, and then spent the rest of his days as an advisor, a writer, and occasionally a weapon's dealer. But in essence, he is an apologist for an authoratarian regime and a proagandist per excellence. So to hear mr. Hersh talking about how he is glad and optimistic regarding the future of egyptian journalism thanks to institutes such as the Heikal Foundation for Journalism, well, you can understand why I felt like crying at that moment.

However, I was immedietly distracted by the group masturbation session that followed those words as mr. Hersh started his speech. I was wowed by this man's ability to verbally give every single member of the audience a handjob. It was exactly everything they wanted to hear and nothing more. Simply amazing. This is a man who knows his audience and how exactly to bullshit them. For example, he mentioned- with the disclaimer that he has no proof of this- that the UN owed Iraq approx. 9 billion dollars for Oil sales in escrow, which was later on claimed by the US government when it took over Iraq and then simply dissappeared and vanished. He of course has no proof or sources to confirm this, but his audience is not one that needs proof in such matters. After all, we live for this shit.

What was slightly surprising was how pro-Shia the man was (the man apparently could see no harm coming from Iran, syria or hezbollah), which was later on explained to me in the context that this man is a member of the new Left, and the new left believes that any enemy of the USA is a good person and needs to be supported, because the USA is a very bad and naughty country. But the dude was stretching thing a little bit. I mean when he decribed the March 14th movement as "The US backed Sunni dominated Seniora government" I started heaving, but when he described  Hezbollah as "a member of an opposition coalition with Christian catholics" I knew I was in the presence of greatness. This is a man who could distort shit so well that he could disprove gravity. And just so you know, the US is backing a "Fitnah" amongst muslims that is trying to get sunnis to fight the Shias, who apparently before the US moved into Iraq never fought before. Oh yeah, and it's all the saudis fault. If you removed the Saudis and the americans, the region would be peacefull with rainbows, butterflies and choclate springs sprouting all over. It's not like the Iranians are equiping shia militias in Iraq, financing Hezbollah in Lebanon,  trying to detsabalize the government of Bahrain and occupies part of the UAE. Not gonna mention that, no way. The Iranians are cool after all, because they hate the US.

You know, I am willing to listen and accept his version of how the americans are to blame for everything in the middle-east if he would just mention the other asshole players and assign them blame as well. I mean, yeah, the sunnis are asshole extremist fanatics and Saudi is filled with crazy wahabi and mutawaeen, but so are the Shia, and Iran has the religious police and almost executed a girl for killing someone who wanted to rape her. Yet somehow, in Hersh's world view, what Iran does is not a problem, the Saudis are. After all, they are cozy with the US. Dude, this is the middle east. The devil's asshole. Everybody here is guilty. We all have blood on our hands. Sunnis and Shia. Christians and Jews. Arabs and Persians. It's just how things are around here, and it's not gonna change if the Saudis ran out of Oil or the US lost its power and status. Sorry. Any undergrad Junior International Affairs or middle-eastern studies student will tell you that it's a tad more complicated than that. But not as far as mr. Hersh is concerned.

All in all, it was lovely. People had the same blank happy look on their faces that they had after watching Fehrenheit 9/11. They didn't come up with anything new, just everything they have believed and heard a thousand times before just rehashed and repackaged and told to them by an anti-Israeli jew. And, after all, in a country like Egypt, the moral authority of anti-israeli jew is absolute.

So yeah, it was a fun hour. I love me a good bullshit artist. Maybe that's why I always had a soft spot for Bill Clinton. He was, after all, the master of Bullshit artistry! However, if you are not a critical thinker, you left this place with the satisfied face and shit-eating grin of someone who just got exactly what he wanted and expected, faith rewarded. Good for you. Keep it up. Your world will always be a simple one.

Lucky you! 

Hitchens on Hillary

Smackdown!