Bush’s Iraq fixation

Rick Heller at Centerfield picks up a nugget I’d missed:

President George Bush first asked Tony Blair to support the removal of Saddam Hussein from power at a private White House dinner nine days after the terror attacks of 11 September, 2001.

According to Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British Ambassador to Washington, who was at the dinner when Blair became the first foreign leader to visit America after 11 September, Blair told Bush he should not get distracted from the war on terror’s initial goal – dealing with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

No real surprise here, I suppose, but further backing for the notion that Team Bush had a bad case of Iraq on the brain, in a way that the events of 9-11 didn’t much change.

(Scroll to the bottom of the Guardian story for some interesting detail on how the second UN resolution came to be: a version that makes the Chirac government appear somewhat less obstructionist than its public stance would have suggested. Apparently France would have been willing to have us invade on the basis of Res. 1441 without a second resolution, but Blair’s officials thought he needed one legally and politically.)

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com