Friday, April 01, 2005

"Ladies and gentlemen, these are not assertions."

Not that it comes as a great shock to anyone, but former US Secretary of State and girlie-man Colin Powell has gone all Gallic on us and criticised President Bush, in an interview with the German magazine Stern, for misleading him about Saddam Hussein's military capabilities pre-2003. For the record, here is the full transcript (before it's taken down) of what Powell presented to members of the UN Security Council in February 2003: Secretary of State Addresses the UN Security Council.

This comes on the back of a new report which finds that US intelligence agencies were--wait for it--"'dead wrong' in most of their judgements about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Of course, that doesn't faze Australia's Lord Downer, who argues that Australia went to war on the basis of Iraq's failure to comply with "something like 17 mandatory Security Council resolutions." Downer goes on to remind us that the "US-led coalition made it perfectly clear that they thought the world would be a better place without Saddam Hussein. 'I know some people don't agree with that, and on that point I diverge with those who think the world would be a better place if we'd left Saddam Hussein in power.'"

No, you arrogant prick. This isn't about whether the world would be a better place without Saddam Hussein in power--a point on which nobody disagrees with you, as you well know. Regime change was never the Howard government's justification for taking Australia to war--as Howard himself declared in March 2003 in an address to the National Press Club: " Disarmament rather than regime change is Australia's primary policy goal."