Monday, June 27, 2005

DSM finally gets front page play

The "famous" Downing Street Memos are slowly becoming, well, famous:
    A U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of the events said the concerns raised by British officials "played a useful role."

    "Were they paid a tremendous amount of heed?" said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "I think it's hard to say they were."

    Critics of the Bush administration contend the documents -- including the now-famous Downing Street Memo of July 23, 2002 -- constitute proof that Bush made the decision to go to war at least eight months before it began, and that the subsequent diplomatic campaign at the United Nations was a charade, designed to convince the public that war was necessary, rather than an attempt to resolve the crisis peacefully. They contend the documents have not received the attention they deserve.

    Supporters of the administration contend, by contrast, that the memos add little or nothing to what is already publicly known about the run-up to the war and even help show that the British officials genuinely believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They say that opponents of Bush and Blair are distorting the documents' meaning in order to attack both men politically.
    A U.S. official who observed the process said British objections followed a traditional path. "To some extent the mandarins were playing the role they were acculturated to play in the Washington-London dialectic, which is always to play devil's advocate," he said. "I'm not saying they were sanguine -- they weren't -- but since time immemorial they have always played Athens to our Rome, working hard to remove us from a tendency toward what they consider impetuosity or misguided idealism."

Misguided idealism, indeed.

No comments: