The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Yet another UK 'memo' contradicts the White House

The term Downing Street Memo was always pretty misleading. These weren't post-its scribbled with "Bush wanted to hit Iraq all along," but minutes from meetings with top government officials where the concensus was that Bush's official policy was to invade Iraq-- right after finding a plausible lie to feed the public. Maybe because it was just another in the endless parade of 'where's the outrage?' moments we've seen over the last five years, it didn't really cause much of an outcry.

How about round three? Britain's ambassador in Baghdad sent a message to Tony Blair indicating that no one-- and certainly not George Bush-- expects to see a successful democracy in Iraq. For all the White House talks about turning corners (I think we're up to eleven or so), progress, and their goal of total victory, they apparently aren't buying it either. The goal, in the ambassador's words, is to "avoid a descent into civil war and anarchy."

The bleak assessment of the country's future was contained in Mr Patey's final e-cable, or diplomatic telegram, from Baghdad.

The distribution list included the UK's prime minister, foreign secretary, defence secretary and House of Commons leader, as well as senior military commanders in both Iraq and the UK.

Mr Patey wrote: "The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy.

"Even the lowered expectation of President Bush for Iraq - a government that can sustain itself, defend itself and govern itself and is an ally in the war on terror - must remain in doubt."