Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bombs to Damascus

New York Times on Dick Cheney's book --

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says in a new memoir that he urged President George W. Bush  to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site in June 2007. But, he wrote, Mr. Bush opted for a diplomatic approach after other advisers — still stinging over “the bad intelligence we had received about Iraq’s stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction” — expressed misgivings. 

Was this the only split in the Bush Administration regarding a war on Syria?  Take a look beginning at the 26th minute of this Syrian TV interview with Bashar al-Assad.  Now not to take his side in anything -- the sooner that the Syrian people get around to a Libyan solution, the better -- but he has no particular reason to make up the story he recounts at that stage of the interview.  In which he says that they were all aware of all the "After Iraq, Syria" chatter in 2003, but even moreso that he was shown a list of specific targets that the Americans were going to attack, and the threat only receded after Afghanistan and Iraq got more complicated (which might explain incidentally why Syria was facilitating jihadis getting to Iraq during this period).

So anyway, it's great that Dick Cheney is telling it like he saw it in his book, but he's probably not telling it all.  Someone wanted to invade Syria in 2003-04 and got talked out of it.  Who and Why?

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