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6/13/2005

Yet Another British Memo

In a recent "hard hitting" interview of President Bush by FOX News' Neil Cavuto, Cavuto actually asked the following question of Bush,

"Do you think that the focus on Michael Jackson has hurt you?"

If Bush was honest (don't laugh at that. I didn't mean that to be a joke) he would have told Cavuto that all the Focus on Jackson is actually helping him. While 2,000 plus "media" types where waiting for the Jackson verdict, including White House mouthpiece Sean Hannity who didn't even take commercial breaks while breathlessly awaiting the verdict, nobody, and certainly not Hannity, was talking about yet another damning memo that has surfaced "across the pond."

This one again appeared in The Sunday Times in London and was produced on July 21st, 2002.

Here are some of the high points,

"The US Government's military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace. But, as yet, it lacks a political framework. In particular, little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it."

I think this one is my favorite,

"We need now to reinforce this message and to encourage the US Government to place its military planning within a political framework, partly to forestall the risk that military action is precipitated in an unplanned way by, for example, an incident in the No Fly Zones. This is particularly important for the UK because it is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action. Otherwise we face the real danger that the US will commit themselves to a course of action which we would find very difficult to support."

This part is pretty good too. It's under the heading "Justification",

"US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community. Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law. But regime change could result from action that is otherwise lawful. We would regard the use of force against Iraq, or any other state, as lawful if exercised in the right of individual or collective self-defence, if carried out to avert an overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe, or authorised by the UN Security Council. A detailed consideration of the legal issues, prepared earlier this year, is at Annex A. The legal position would depend on the precise circumstances at the time. Legal bases for an invasion of Iraq are in principle conceivable in both the first two instances but would be difficult to establish because of, for example, the tests of immediacy and proportionality. Further legal advice would be needed on this point."

OK boys, what we are planning is illegal, so what's say we find a way to make it legal (wink, wink). Oh, and did you know that the US views international law differently than every other nation on the planet? I was shocked.

Oh, and if you can't think of a way to "make it legal" on your own, try this one.

"It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be regarded as unreasonable by the international community. However, failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003."

And now a look into the future, that the Bushies never saw.

"Even with a legal base and a viable military plan, we would still need to ensure that the benefits of action outweigh the risks. In particular, we need to be sure that the outcome of the military action would match our objective as set out in paragraph 5 above. A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise. As already made clear, the US military plans are virtually silent on this point. Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden. Further work is required to define more precisely the means by which the desired endstate would be created, in particular what form of Government might replace Saddam Hussein's regime and the timescale within which it would be possible to identify a successor. We must also consider in greater detail the impact of military action on other UK interests in the region."

It just seems like the evil, liberal, MSM should be paying a wee bit more attention to this...don't ya think?. Maybe now that the Jackson thing is over all those "reporters" can start to do their real job.

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