Thursday, November 25, 2010


Carly Crawford, New York From: Herald Sun November 10, 2010

Former US President George W Bush talks with fans while signing copies of his new memoir Decision Points at a book shop in Dallas, Texas. Source: AFP

FORMER US president George W Bush seriously considered John Howard's opinion before deciding to invade Iraq, the most controversial foreign policy decision he made during his eight years in the Oval Office.

In his memoirs, Bush reveals he put serious stock in then Australian leader Howard's position on the contentious 2003 war against tyrant Saddam Hussein.

"Almost every ally I consulted - even staunch advocates of confronting Saddam like Prime Minister John Howard of Australia - told me a UN resolution was essential to winning public support in their countries," he writes in the book Decision Points.

Bush's then US Secretary of State Colin Powell had told him the same thing.

The president went on to seek UN clearance but the world body did not explicitly authorise the war, opting instead to green-light more inspections for nuclear weapons with "serious consequences" for non-compliance. They were always going to invade, with, or without justification of any description.

But the US and its allies, including Britain and Australia, pushed ahead with the use of military force, drawing criticism from some nations.

"I didn't have a lot of faith in the UN," Bush writes.

"The Security Council had passed 16 resolutions against Saddam to no avail."

The 43rd president mounts a passionate defence of the war -The Herald Sun ALWAYS refers to this unjustified invasion as a war even though most politicians, media commentators and public refer to these invasions as invasions. Of course this paper is owned by the American Rupert Murdoch- in his memoirs, which have been released in the US.

Bush makes three references to his friend Howard, including his famous "man of steel" reference.

Bush recounts the January 2009 ceremony in Washington at which he awarded the rare Medal of Freedom to three world leaders - former British PM Tony Blair, Colombian president Alvaro Uribe and Howard.

He recounts the intimate conversations he had with his "courageous" British ally Blair about the war, but mentions Howard and Uribe only in a footnote in the context of the medal. So much for John Coward being a good friend of the American war-criminal and mass murderer.

“At the same ceremony, I presented the Medal of Freedom to Prime Minister John Howard of Australia, who I called a 'man of steel' and to President Alvaro Uribe, the courageous leader of Colombia.”

In the book, Bush also defends his handling of Hurricane Katrina and his response to the September 11 terror attacks -was that because he did as he was told?-, which have been slammed as slow and inadequate.

The retired Texas politician also says he was "damn right" to allow the CIA to use the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding in the interrogation of September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. So I guess it WASN'T Osama Bin Laden after all, except that controversial Melbourne ABC774 radio host John Faine not only said it was Bin Laden, but he then ridiculed a caller into his show that illustrated that Bin Laden isn't wanted by the FBI for 9/11. So, maybe the 9/11 mastermind is whomever is paraded in front of the corporate media by the US et al at any given time to stifle debate on the failing invasion.

There are references to Kevin Rudd or former foreign minister Alexander Downer.

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