Richard Haass, Powell’s head of policy planning, resigned when it became clear that Bush demands for Iraqi disarmament were only a pretext for war.
Haass, now head of the Council on Foreign Relations, calls Iraq a war of “choice,” not “necessity.” He recounts a meeting with NSC director Condoleezza Rice in July 2002, two months before Iraq hit the headlines and three months before Bush went to the U.N. Security Council putatively to seek a resolution on Iraqi disarmament.
As head of State’s policy planning, Haass’ mission to the NSC was, he says, to discuss “the pros and cons” of escalating toward war with Iraq. Says Haass: “Basically, she (Rice) cut me off and said, ‘Save your breath – the president has already decided what he’s going to do on this.’ “
So when Condi said two months later in September of 2002 (and for many months afterward) that Bush hadn’t made up his mind about Iraq, we now know she was lying. Impressive.
Anyway, this column also mentions another of the mounting multitude of lies and exaggerations by this administration, the desperate (and hilarious) attempt to claim that the situation in Iraq was like that of post-war Nazi Germany. (Here’s what I had to say about it here.)
But this reminded me of my favorite moment of historical illiteracy on the part of this administration. That would be the even more desperate attempt of Rummy to claim that the post-war Iraq situation was just like that faced in the wake of the American Revolution. More specifically, he claimed it was just like Shays’ Rebellion.
All three of these instances bring up a couple of rather obvious questions: Is there anything they won’t say? Is there any lie they won’t tell?
I’m sorry folks. I just couldn’t resist this little trip down memory lane.
I hope you enjoyed it.