Downing Street Memo follow up in the IHT –
“Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning,” David Manning, Blair’s chief foreign policy adviser at the time, wrote in the memo that summarized the discussion between Bush, Blair and six of their top aides.”
And in case anyone is surprised why there are conspiracy theories…
“The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Hussein.”
I seriously wonder what it feels like to be in such a meeting… did they, at any point, feel at least a little of the weight of the world on their shoulders? Or was it really just another “Patriot Game”. Whatever you think of Michael Moore, he was right about asking one question – why did Blair go along with this?
I’ve always favoured an explanation invoking the fundamental British post WW2 foreign policy fallacy – Churchill’s three sphere’s of interest. Well, it may not have been a fallay back in Churchill’s days, but the concept of building a global foreign policy strategy based on the idea of the US wanting a special relationship with the UK should have been discredited after the Suez crisis, or, latest, after Kennedy told Macmillan to take Britain into the EEC or the US would have a special relationship with, hey, Germany.
But still, to this day, against more than 50 years of evidence, the British foreign policy establishment seems to believe that linguistic and superficial cultural affiliation will ensure that the US listen to British advice on how to run the world.