Monday, July 21, 2003
From Al Kamen's In the Loop column in today's Washington Post a peek inside a new book by Peter Stothard, former editor of the Times of London. The reporter was allowed unusual access to Tony Blair during 30 days that included the start of the Iraq II war:
"Rice begins gently to suggest to her boss that some of their colleagues back in Washington might not be best pleased. When she becomes more vigorous," Stothard wrote, Bush "leads her away from the crowd. "He looks at first concerned, then a bit frosty."
Later, at a photo session, "Rice continues her commentary on the excess vitality of the press conference," Stothard writes. "'Ease it, Condi, ease it,' says the president. The dispute ceases."
Shortly thereafter, Rice is "sitting on a bench under a large tapestry of Don Quixote tilting at windmills and talking on her mobile phone to Washington.
"'Yes,' she says firmly, 'a vital role for the U.N. I just want to make sure that the DOD doesn't say anything wrong about this. Yes, it's important that we all use the same language.' "
Condi isn't the only one to tilt at windmills.
Cliffnoted Remarks by the President on Iraq
Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal
Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace…The threat comes from Iraq…It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons…Iraq stands alone -- because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place… Some ask how urgent this danger is to America and the world. The danger is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do -- does it make any sense for the world to wait…We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents…Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles… We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles…We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States…Sophisticated delivery systems aren't required for a chemical or biological attack…that is the source of our urgent concern about Saddam Hussein's links to international terrorist groups…Confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror…The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors…Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons…We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people…Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud…We have every reason to assume the worst… Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon…I hope this will not require military action, but it may…We could wait and hope that Saddam does not give weapons to terrorists, or develop a nuclear weapon to blackmail the world…Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse…I have asked Congress to authorize the use of America's military, if it proves necessary…Vast oceans no longer protect us from danger…We did not ask for this present challenge…By our actions, we will secure the peace.
Photos: BBC, whitehouse.gov