TRD101:The Which Blair Project
by Michael Maynard
April 13, 2006
There are a lot of mysteries concerning the information gathering and decision making processes involving the run up to the invasion of Iraq. The US media and a significant portion of the US populace wants to believe there was and find out what the single reason the Bush Administration decided to invade Iraq. We do know, from former Treasury Secretary’s Paul O’Neill’s book, that this decision was made just as or before (as I believe) they took office. I don’t believe there was one single reason or motivation amongst the various Bush Leaguers:
President George W. Bush wanted revenge for Saddam’s attempt to kill his father. It has been reported many times, the latest in the Scooter Libby-Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame imbroglio, that FUBAR is a small minded, mean, vindictive man.
Vice President Dick Cheney wanted greater US control over the oil supplies of the Middle East, so that his corporate friends, such as Halliburton, would benefit. It has been reported many times, including Cheney’s still benefitting from his tenure as CEO at Halliburton, that Cheney is a venal, corrupt man.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wanted to prove his ideas about transforming the military into a modern lean, high-tech, not manpower, dependent group would work. It has been reported many times, and we all see the results daily, of Rummy’s being an egotistical, vainglorious, reality denying man.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowicz, IMNSHO, is the tragic figure in this fiasco. I believe he had noble reasons behind his beliefs about what would occur after Iraq was successfully invaded and conquered. He believed that the political landscape of the Middle East would gradually be transformed from the brutal, dictatorial regimes in place, to modern Western style democracies. As a results, the security of Israel would be increased and the United States’ ability to solve the Israel-Palestine situation/problem would be greatly enhanced. Wolife, and the others, forgot a key point, it takes a long time and a lot of manpower to provide security and money to build infrastructure to establish democracies in countries that have not had democratic institutions previously.
Secretary of State Colin Powell was the lone rational figure in this whole process. He tried to stop the invasion or at worst, slow down the process so the planning about what would happen and what to do after the invasion would be sound. The State Departments “Future of Iraq” projet reports correctly predicted everything that was going to happen once the invasion started. Colin Powell got steam rolled in the process.
It’s a mystery to me is what Colin Powell did after the decision was made to invade Iraq and it makes me question his character. His oath is to serve the country, and not the President. As he stated recently, if he knew the intelligence was false and he had concerns about how the invasion was going to be conducted, then he should have either spoken up to the press and/or resigned. His silence and capitulation in making the presentation to the UN makes his later statements seem self-serving and pussilanimous.
Assistant Secretary of Defense, Donald Feith, and National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice, were looking for holes in the wall to use as comparisons.
The biggest mystery to me is what The U.K Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was thinking when he signed on to back the Iraq invasion. He wasn’t new to his office, like the Bush Leaguers. He was a FOB (Friend of Bubba - Bill Clinton) and considered to be an international statesman, in his own right. His actions and leadership this year on how to help Africa develop show his international presence and knowledge. So what was he doing backing the Iraqi war?
The leaked Downing Street Memos (www.downingstreetmemo.com) show that his Foreign Ministrer, Jack Straw, and various others of his cabinet members were greatly opposed to the invasion. He should have known the information he had from his intelligence services on Iraq was “dodgy”. The intelligence included a term paper from a college student. He should have known that the US intelligence, because of lack of direct evidence from Iraq and reliance on
expatriates like Ahmed Chalabi for information, was equally dodgy. He particularly should have known after meeting with Bush on his ranch, that Blair was not dealing with an equal in terms of knowledge and experience in foreign affairs and policy.
And he particularly should have known the dangers of pulling resources out of Afghanistan when Al Qaeda and the Taliban were still viable entities. He should have known that good man, Hamid Karzai, needed the long-term military and rebuilding support from the allied forces in order to help establish a viable democratic country. Pulling the military forces too early allowed the regional warlords to regain control of their areas. Pulling the military and rebuilding support forces too early would lead to the redevelopment of the opium farmers and dealers. Great Britain now faces a major crisis as cheap heroin is flooding the country. Blair should have known this would happen, his advisors told him what would happen. So there will be countless lives wasted because Tony Blair’s actions and lack thereof.
So which Tony Blair he projects should we believe: the FOB international statesman, or the poodle willingly sitting on the lap of the Bush Administration? The hundred of thousands of lives taken in Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts or destroyed through drug abuse is most telling about which Blair projects.
TRD101 knows this: There’s no such thing as magic in the universe. When your senior experts present accurate and detailed scenarios about the damage will happen on taking certain actions, then you need to believe them. You don’t change the information to fit your preconceived ideas. That never works.
And that is The Real Deal 101 for today, like it or not.
Send your comments and questions or to be added to TRD101's distribution list to:
You can read TRD101's work and participate in a group discussion at
www.blogger.com and enter TRD101, where it asks for what blog you want. Please feel forward to forward this along to others, as appropriate.
© Copyright Michael Maynard, TRD101, March 2006.