Thursday, September 27, 2007


From Juan Cole:

El Pais published a transcript (reprinted at this link) of the conversation between George W. Bush, Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, and Condoleeza Rice held at Crawford before the Iraq War. Bush is typically bullheaded, impatient, conspiratorial, bullying, arrogant, ill-informed and way over-optimistic. The transcript shows the true colors of the man-- a sort of thuggish, ignorant Mafia don-- who destroyed the United States and destroyed Iraq.

At one point Aznar prophetically says, "The thing that worries me is your optimism."

The transcript, it seems to me, provides a whole rack of smoking guns that could be a basis for impeaching George W. Bush. The transcript shows that Bush consciously intended to go to war without a United Nations Security Council resolution. The United Nations Charter, to which the United States is a treaty signatory (so that it has the force of American law), forbids any nation to launch an aggressive war on another country. The only two legal mechanisms for war are either that it came in response to a direct attack or that the attacker gained a UNSC authorization. The transcript shows Bush actively plotting to sidestep the UNSC if he could not, gangster-like, threaten its members into compliance.

The second grounds for impeachment is that Bush rejected out of hand a deal brokered by the Egyptians whereby Saddam Hussein would leave the country with a billion dollars and some documents about his WMD program. Reuters reports:

'The Egyptians are speaking to Saddam Hussein. It seems he's indicated he would be prepared to go into exile if he's allowed to take $1 billion and all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction," Bush was quoted as saying at the meeting one month before the U.S.-led invasion.'

The transcript in Spanish then says (my translation):

'Aznar: Is it certain that any possibility exists that Saddam Hussein will go into exile?

Bush: The possibility exists, including that he will be assassinated.

Aznar: Exile with a guarantee?

Bush: No guarantee! He is a thug, a terrorist, a war criminal.

Bush goes on to say, "Saddam won't change and he'll keep on playing games. The time has come to get rid of him. That's the way it is. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March."

In other words, Bush could have sent Saddam off to exile in Saudi Arabia and avoided the whole war, but refused to do so because of the family vendetta between the Bushes and the Tikritis. Nearly 4,000 US soldiers have died and thousands have been wounded because Bush would not take the deal Saddam offered him. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, and millions displaced.

Going to war unnecessarily is an impeachable offense.

The whole immense catastrophe could have been avoided.

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