Bush was keenly aware that not finding WMD could come back to bite him on the ass, so he proposed a different provocation: luring Saddam into shooting down a U-2 painted in UN colors.
Ironically, this is similar to how a summit between Eisenhower and Khrushchev to reduce Cold War tensions was scuttled. A U-2 with a CIA pilot was shot down over Russia. U-2s had flown over Russia before, but Russian missiles and planes could never reach their altitude until this moment when the Cold War could have ended a couple of decades early.
Khruschev came to power when Stalin died, visited the United States, and gave signs of being a Gorbachev-like reformer. After the U-2 incident and the Cuban missile crisis, he was pushed aside by hard-liners.
It is funny that Bush would choose the very old and sub-sonic U-2 when we have the fastest reconnaissance aircraft in the world that flies at much higher altitude, the SR-71. Maybe his dad suggested the U-2 trick since he was in the CIA at the time.
Bush planned to fake the immediate provocation for this war. Other researchers like Greg Palast of the BBC have clearly documented the real reason we attacked, oil, including talking to the oil execs who were in on the early planning, seeing the documents, and talking on film to the GOP strategist, Grover Norquist, who wrote the plan to privatize everything in Iraq and steal their oil.
Some of the more scholarly defenses of the Iraq War have said that it is about securing strategic access to the oil. It is not. If that's what we wanted, we would have done what China has done with Iran and Canada--negotiate long term contracts for a set percentage of their production. What we have done by invading is to simply put our oil companies hands on the spigot, so they can profit.
Our newspapers including the LA Times refuse to treat this seriously or even cover it most of the time. If Bush admitted he allowed or orchestrated 9/11, it would probably be a three paragraph story on page A17, and the Republicans in Congress, if forced to acknowledge it at all, would say any question of discussing it was a partisan ploy and then vote for another tax cut for the rich.
Something very fundamental has to change. A majority of Americans now know something is wrong, but don't seem to fathom the depth of the problem enough to act.
If that realization doesn't come until Bush attacks Iran, we could be drawn into a world war that would only profit the same people who are profiting from the Iraq War.
Blair-Bush deal before Iraq war revealed in secret memo
PM promised to be 'solidly behind' US invasion with or without UN backing
Friday February 3, 2006
A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders 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.
"The diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning", the president told Mr Blair. The prime minister is said to have raised no objection. He is quoted as saying he was "solidly with the president and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam".
- Mr Bush told Mr Blair that the US was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that it thought of "flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours". Mr Bush added: "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach [of UN resolutions]".
- Mr Bush even expressed the hope that a defector would be extracted from Iraq and give a "public presentation about Saddam's WMD". He is also said to have referred Mr Blair to a "small possibility" that Saddam would be "assassinated".
- Mr Blair told the US president that a second UN resolution would be an "insurance policy", providing "international cover, including with the Arabs" if anything went wrong with the military campaign, or if Saddam increased the stakes by burning oil wells, killing children, or fomenting internal divisions within Iraq.
- Mr Bush told the prime minister that he "thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups". Mr Blair did not demur, according to the book.
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