Reflections by the Commander in Chief
ONE MORE ARGUMENT FOR THE U.N.
While I am working with the already famous Greenspan book, I read an article published by El País, a Spanish newspaper with a circulation of more than 500,000, according to reports; I would like to pass this on to the readers. It is signed by Ernesto Ekaizer, and it literally reads:
“Four weeks before the
“The moment has come to get rid of Saddam.
“As part of this plan, Bush
had accepted, on January 31, 2003 --after an interview with the British Prime
Minister Tony Blair-- to make a last diplomatic manoeuvre: to introduce a
second resolution to the United Nations Security Council. His objective: to
clear the way legally for a unilateral war that the
“Bush was aware of Blair’s internal
difficulties and he knew of Aznar’s. Only seven days before that meeting at the
Crawford Ranch, three million people were demonstrating in several Spanish
cities against the imminent war. ‘We
need your help with our public opinion’, Aznar
asks. Bush explains to him the scope of
the new resolution that he is going to present: ‘The resolution will be tailor
made to help you. I don’t care about the
content’. To this, Aznar
replies: ‘That text would help us to be able to co-sponsor it and be its
co-authors, and get many people to sponsor it’.
Aznar, then, offers to give Bush European
coverage, together with Blair. Aznar’s dream of consolidating a relationship with the
travelled with his wife, Ana Botella, on February 20
“In the meeting on the following day, Saturday, President Bush, his then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and Daniel Fried, the chief of European Affairs at the National Security Council, were present. Aznar, on his side, was accompanied by his international policy advisor, Alberto Carnero and the Spanish Ambassador in Washington, Javier Rupérez. As part of the meeting, Bush and Aznar had a four-way telephone conversation with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Italian President Silvio Berlusconi.
“Ambassador Rupérez translated from the English for Aznar and also from the Italian for Condoleezza Rice; another two interpreters did the same for Bush and his collaborators. It was Rupérez who drafted the minutes of the conversation in a memorandum that has been kept secret until today.
“The conversation is impressive because of
its direct, friendly and even menacing tone when, for example, they refer to
the necessity of some countries like
“They are cautioned about zero expectations for the work of the inspectors, whose chief, Hans Blix, had dismantled just one week earlier, on February 14, the arguments presented by United States Secretary of State Colin Powell at the Security Council on February 5, 2003, with ‘solid facts’ enthusiastically supported by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ana Palacio. The same facts that Powell himself later described as a bunch of lies.
“The Blix Report
“The General Director of the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed El Baradei
released information on February 14 that there were still some technical issues
left to clear up. But, he added, ‘now there are no
more disarmament problems left to solve’.
According to him, absolutely no proof had been found that
“Both the first results of the inspections
and the end of the
“The failure of this legal coverage for
the imminent war led Bush, with Blair and Aznar, to
agree to a summit meeting in the Azores on March 16,
Fidel Castro Ruz