Patterico's Pontifications


It’s All in the Translation

Filed under: International,War — DRJ @ 9:38 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via the Instapundit, Barcepundit debunks one story and breaks another:

“MUCH IS BEING MADE of the scoop by pro-Zapatero’s daily El País, in Madrid, of the transcript of the memo of a conversation between Bush and Spain’s former PM Aznar in Crawford in March 2003 as the Iraq war was about to start.
If anything, the transcript proves precisely the opposing point that critics want to make. The conversation shows both Bush and Aznar trying to avoid war; that they were concerned of its human toll, and that Saddam wanted to flee with money… and WMD information. I guess all the people who are trumpeting this will stop saying now that Bush lied and mislead us on the WMD issue. Won’t hold my breath, though.”

Here’s Jules Crittenden’s summary, with which I agree:

“What the leaked memo doesn’t do is indicate bloodthirsty lust for war at all costs. What it does do is underscore that Bush believed, quite correctly, that Saddam posed a threat to the world. That Bush believed, naively, as it turned out, that Iraq was ready to embrace democracy. That Bush preferred to see Saddam go quietly, but understood that there was no chance he would go, or set aside his ambitions, in the absence of a credible and imminent threat of force. It also indicates that Bush, then a year and a half into war, did not relish having to inform mothers and fathers of the deaths of their sons and daughters in battle, or the strain on the American exchequer that war would create. But he did not want to go down in history as someone who flinched, avoided his responsibilities and allowed a murderous dictator to pursue his dreams of domination of the world’s primary oil reserves.”


8 Responses to “It’s All in the Translation”

  1. And in interviews conducted of Saddam’s inner circle, he believed up until his very last hour that the Russians or French were going to save his regime.

    He was simply never going to abide by the resolutions. Never.


    SteveMG (128be8)

  2. Here’s the relevant sections…

    Confirmation bias in action.

    alphie (99bc18)

  3. Alphie’s projecting again.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  4. ….which means the irrelevant sections won’t help you make a point either alphie…

    reff (4e3fcd)

  5. I’d be interested to know how this memo fits into the Lefty narrative. I’ve been told, “Oh, it does!” but not how exactly. I’d be interested.

    Okay, I’d be “amused”, I guess is the better term.

    spongeworthy (45b30e)

  6. “stop saying now that Bush lied and mislead us on the WMD issue.”

    Was ‘Son of Sam’ lying when he said a dog told him to vaporize brain tissue with a .357 Magnum?

    No, he was a victim of selective perception. We expect more of our President.

    Semanticleo (4741c2)

  7. But we don’t expect anything coherent from you, Semanticleo.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  8. The most interesting thing is that at the time this conversation was documented, Bush and Blair still promoted their willingness to a diplomatic resolution. But this conversation shows that peace was never an option.

    Ms. Missive (32042e)

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