It’s nice when two old friends share the same ideology and world view. You can talk in a kind of short-hand, and easily agree on how you would settle things if you were in power. But it’s not so good when the two are heads of state George Bush and Tony Blair. And your shared world view blinds you to the reality that is so obvious to everyone else.
A recent report in the NYT, “Bush Was Set on Path to War” reveals the contents of a British memo written after the two leaders met in London in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. And it makes it clear that once President Bush decided to invade Iraq, nothing was going to change his mind.
The memo indicates the two leaders envisioned a quick victory and a transition to a new Iraqi government that would be complicated, but manageable. Mr. Bush predicted that it was “unlikely there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups.” Mr. Blair agreed with that assessment.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, Mr. 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 Mr. Hussein.