Four weeks before the invasion of Iraq, that took place at night from the 19 to the 20 of March of 2003, George W. Bush maintained in public his exigency to Saddam Hussein in the following terms: disarmament or war. Behind closed doors, Bush recognized that the war was inevitable. During one released conversation with then Spanish president, Jose Maria Aznar, celebrating Saturday 22 of February of 2003 in the farm of Crawford, Texas, Bush made clear that the moment had arrived for undoing of Sadam. “They are left two weeks. In two weeks we will be militarily ready. We will be in Bagdad at the end of March “, said to him to Aznar. [CONSULTA el acta de la reunión]

Within this plan, Bush had finished accepting, on 31 of January of 2003 – after an interview with British prime minister, Tony Blair -, to introduce a last diplomatic maneuver: the proposal of a second resolution of the Security Council of United Nations. Its objective: to open the legal door to the unilateral war that the U.S.A. was prepared to trigger with than 200,000 soldiers prepared more in the region to attack. Bush was conscious of the internal difficulties of Blair but did not know those of Aznar. Only seven days before that meeting in the farm of Crawford, three million people were demonstrating in several cities of Spain against the imminent war. “We need you to help us with our public opinion”, requested Aznar. Bush explained the reach to him of the new resolution that he planned to present/display:

“the resolution will be done to provide what help we can. It gives a little to do the same for me”. To which Aznar responds: “that text would help Us to be able to cosponsor it and to be its coauthors and to obtain that much people sponsor it”. Aznar, then, is offered to give European political cover to Bush, in union with Blair. The dream of Aznar to lay the foundations a relation with the U.S.A., following the example of the United Kingdom, was on the verge of becoming reality. Aznar had traveled the 20 of February with its wife, Ana Bottela, to the U.S.A. having done a tour in Mexico to persuade (unfruitfully) president Vicente Fox of the necessity of supporting Bush. The 21, the pair, accompanied by the collaborators of the president, arrived in Texas. Aznar and its wife lodged in a guesthouse on the ranch. In the meeting of the following day, Saturday, president Bush, his then adviser of National Security, Condoleezza Rice, and the person in charge of European subjects of the National Security Council participated, Daniel Fried. On the other side, accompanying Aznar was his adviser for international policy, Alberto Sheep, and the ambassador of Spain in Washington, Javier Rupérez. Bush and Aznar had, from the record of the encounter, a telephone conversation of four with British prime minister, Tony Blair, and the president of the Italian Government, Silvio Berlusconi. Ambassador Rupérez translated the English for Aznar and the Italian for Condoleezza Rice; two other interpreters translated for Bush and his collaborators. It was Rupérez that was in charge of elaborating the act-summary of the conversation in a memorandum that has remained secret until today. The conversation makes an impression by its direct, friendly tone, until it turns threatening, when, for example, it talks about the necessity that countries like Mexico, Chile, Angola, Cameroun and Russia, members of the Security Council of the UN, vote the new resolution as a sample of friendship towards the U.S.A. or relies on the consequences. The null expectation in the work of the inspectors, whose head it mentioned, Hans Blix, it had cut off only one week ago, the 14 of February, the arguments exposed by the North American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, before the Security Council the 5 of February of 2003, with “supported solid data” warmly by the Spanish Secretary of State, Ana Palacio. Data that the own Powell described, later, like a set of falsifications.

The Blix Report

According to Blix, Iraq was taking steps towards an active cooperation to solve the pending subjects of disarmament. Its tone had been less critical than the one of its report of the 27 of January of 2003. “Since we arrived at Iraq three ago months we have made more than 400 inspection without previous warning in about 300 places. Until now, the inspectors have not found any of the prohibited arms… If Iraq is decided to cooperate still more closely the period of disarmament through them inspection can still be brief,” indicated the head of inspectors. The chief of a main directorate of the Organismo Internacional de la Energía Atómica (OIEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, informed them on 14 February that they still needed to clarify some technical questions; but, he added, “they are not that many disarmament problems left to solve”.

He said he could not prove that nuclear activities or activities related to nuclear energy were being carried out, or confirm Powell’s allegations on the Iraqi nuclear program. As much the first fruits of the inspection work as the conclusion of the preparations of the U.S.A. took to Bush to fix the beginning of the combat operation towards the date of the 10 of March of 2003, to which nine days were added to obtain the second resolution.

The process of moral persuasion, in which Aznar and Palacio were tasked with on the telephone call and bilateral meeting, did not manage to reunite more than four votes: the three promoters and Bulgaria. 9 votes were necessary. The failure of this legal cover of the imminent war took to Bush to decide with Blair and Aznar the celebration, the 16 of March of 2003, of a summit in the Azores Islands, a place suggested by Aznar as an alternative to the Bermuda islands for a reason that he himself explained to Bush: “the name of those islands brought to mind an article of dress [Bermuda shorts, presumably] that is indeed not appropriate for the gravity of the moment at which we were”.

There, that 16 of March, Bush, Blair and Aznar decided to replace the Security Council of the United Nations and usurped their function to declare by their account and risk the war against Iraq. In the morning of the 17 of March, the ambassador of the United Kingdom before the UN announced in New York the retirement of the second resolution. A defeat in the voting had complicated the race towards the war. The COUNTRY offers to its readers in exclusive right the act-summary of the conversation.

President Bush. We are in favor of obtaining a second resolution in the Security Council and would want to do it quickly. We would want to announce it Monday or Tuesday [24 or 25 of February of 2003].

President Aznar. Better Tuesday, after the meeting of the Council of General Subjects of the European Union. [it’s important to maintain the momentum] obtained by the resolution of the summit of the European Union [in Brussels, Monday 17 of February]. We would prefer Tuesday.

PB. It could be in the evening Monday, considering the hour difference. In any case the next week. We see the written up resolution so that it does not contain obligatory elements, that it does not mention the use of the force, and that it states that Saddam Hussein has been incapable of fulfilling his obligations. That type of resolution can be voted by many people. He would be something similar to which was obtained for Kosovo [the 10 of June of 1999].

PA. One would appear before the Security Council before and independently of a parallel declaration?

Condoleezza Rice. In fact there would not be parallel declaration. We are thinking about as simple a resolution as is possible without many details of fulfillment that Saddam Hussein could use like stages and consequently fail to fulfill them. We are speaking with Blix [head of the inspectors of the UN] and others of his outfit to obtain ideas that can serve to introduce the resolution.

PB. Saddam Husein will not change and will continue playing. The moment has arrived for the undoing of him. It is thus. I, as for me, will from now on try to use the subtlest rhetoric possible, while we look for the approval of the resolution. If somebody vetoes(?) [Russia, China and France has, next to the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom, the right to veto in the Security Council in their capacity as permanent members], we will go. Saddam Hussein is not being disarmed. We must take him out right now. We have shown an incredible degree of patience until now. They are left two weeks. In two weeks we will be militarily ready. I believe that we will obtain the second resolution. In the African contigent, the three Security Council members [Cameroun, Angola and Guinea], the Chileans, the Mexicans. I will speak with all of them, also with Putin, naturally. We will be in Baghdad at the end of March. A 15% chance exists that by then Saddam Hussein is dead or has gone away. But those possibilities do not exist before we have shown our resolution. The Egyptians are speaking with Saddam Hussein. It seems that it has indicated that it could be arranged to exile himself if he is provided up to 1,000 million dollars and all the information let take to him that it wanted on arms of massive destruction. [ Muammar ] Gaddafi has said to Berlusconi that Saddam Hussein wants to go away. Mubarak says to us that in those circumstances many possibilities would exist for him to be assassinated. We would like to act with the mandate of the United Nations. If we acted militarily we will do it with high accuracy and focusing much on our objectives. We will decimate the loyal troops and the regular army quickly will know which it is. We have sent a very clear message at the generals of Saddam Hussein: we will treat them like criminals military. We know that there have accumulated an enormous amount of dynamite to destroy the bridges and other infrastructure and to blow up the oil wells. We have planned to occupy those wells in a moment. Also the Saudís would help us to put in the market the petroleum that was necessary. We are working hard on developing a package of humanitarian aid. We can win without destruction. We are raising Iraq already post Saddam, and I believe that there are good bases for a better future. Iraq has a relatively good bureaucracy and a civil society. It would be possible to be organized in a federation. Meanwhile we are doing everything possible to take care of the political necessities of our friends and allies.

PA. It is very important to count on a resolution. It is not the same to act with it as without it. It would be very advisable to get in the Security Council a majority that supported that resolution. In fact, it is more important to get a majority than that somebody issues a veto. Let us think that the content of the resolution would have among other things to state that Saddam Hussein has lost his opportunity.

PB. Yes, of course. It would be better than that to make a reference to “necessary means” [talks about to the resolution type of the UN that it authorizes to use “all necessary means”].

PA. Saddam Husein has not cooperated, has not been disarmed, we would have to make a summary of Iraq’s breaches and to send a more elaborated message. That would allow for example that Mexico moved [in reference to its ‘no’ position on the second resolution, that Aznar knew from the the lips of president Vicente Fox, Friday 21 of February in a meeting in Mexico City].

PB. The resolution will be done to provide what help it can. It gives a little of the same help to me [?].

PA. Will you send the text?. [?]

PB. We do not have any text. Only a criterion: that Saddam Hussein disarm. We cannot allow that Saddam Hussein extends the time until the summer. After all already it has been four days in this last stage and that is more than enough time for him to disarm himself.

PA. That text would help us to be able to sponsor it and to be its coauthors and to get other people to sponsor it.

PB. Perfect.

PA. The next Wednesday [16 of February] I see myself with Chirac. The resolution already will have begun to circulate.

PB. That seems good to me. Chirac knows the reality perfectly. Their intelligence services have explained it. The Arabs are sending Chirac a very clear message: Saddam Hussein must go away. The problem is that Chirac is Mister Arab and in fact it is making them impossible. But I do not want to have a rivalry with Chirac. We have different points of view, but I want to set that aside. The best memories of my part. Really! The less rivalry that exists between us will be better for all.

PA. How do we combine the resolution and the report of the inspectors?

Condoleezza Rice. In fact we will not be informed on 28 of February but the inspectors will present/display a written report the 1 of March, and its appearance before the Security Council will not take place until 6 or 7 of March of 2003. We do not anticipate great things from that report. Like in the previous ones, they will put one of lime and another one of sand. I have the impression that Blix will be now be more negative than before on the will of the Iraqis. After the appearance of the inspectors in the Council we must anticipate the vote on the resolution one week later. The Iraqis, meanwhile, will try to explain that they are fulfilling their obligations. Neither is it certain nor will be sufficient, although they’ll announce the destruction of some missiles.

PB. This is like Chinese water torture. We must end it.

PA. I agree, but it would be good to get the maximum number of possible people. To get ten, a little patience.

PB. My patience is exhausted. I do not think to go beyond half of March.

PA. I do not request to you that you have an infinite patience. Simply that you do everything possible [?].

PB. Countries like Mexico, Chile, Angola and Cameroon must know that what are in game is the security of the U.S.A. and act with a friendship sense towards us. [ president Ricardo ] Lakes must know that the Agreement of Free Commerce with Chile is pending of confirmation in the Senate and that a negative attitude in this subject could put in danger that ratification. Angola is receiving bottoms of the Millenium Account and also they could be it jeopardize if are not positives. And Putin must know that with his attitude it is putting in danger the relations of Russia with the United States.

PA. Tony would want to arrive until the 14 from March.

PB. I prefer the 10. This is like the game of bad police and good police. To me it does not matter to me to be the bad police and that Blair is the good one.

PA. It is certain that some possibility that Sadam Hussein exists exilie?

PB. Yes, that possibility exists. Even of which it is assassinated.

PA. Exile with some guarantee?

PB. No guarantee. He is a thief, a terrorist, a criminal military. Compared with Sadam, Milosevic would be a Mother Teresa. When we enter we are going to discover many more crimes and we will take to the Court the International to him of Justice of Is It. Sadam Hussein thinks that already it has escaped. Think that France and Germany have stopped the process of their responsibilities. Also create that the manifestations of the last week [ Saturday 15 of February ] protects to him. And it thinks that I very am debilitated. But the people of her surroundings know that the things are of another way. They know that its future is in exile or a coffin. For that reason it is so important to maintain the pressure on him. Gaddafi says indirectly to us that that is the unique thing that can end him. The only strategy of Sadam Hussein is the one to delay, to delay and to delay.

PA. In fact the greater success would be to gain the game without shooting a single shot and entering Bagdad.

PB. For me it would be the perfect solution. I do not want the war. I know what they are the wars. I know the destruction and the death that bring with himself. I am the one that she has to console to the mothers and the widows of deads. Of course, for us that would be the best solution. In addition, it would save 50,000 million to us dollars.

PA. We needed that you help us with our public opinion.

PB. We will do everything what we pruned. Wednesday I am going to speak on the situation in the Oriente.medio, proposing a new scheme of peace that you know and on the arms of massive destruction, of the benefits of a free society, and will locate the history of Iraq in a ampler context. Perhaps it serves to you.

PA. What we are doing is a very deep change for Spain and the Spaniards. We are changing the policy that the country had followed 200 years in the last. PB. Me it guides an historical sense to me of the responsibility just as to you. When within years History judges us I do not want that people wonder themselves why Bush, or Aznar, or Blair did not face their responsibilities. In the end, which people wants is to enjoy freedom. Recently, in Rumania they remembered the example to me of Ceausescu: she was enough whereupon a woman called mentiroso to him so that all the repressive building came down. It is the uncontrollable power of the freedom. I am convinced that I will obtain the resolution.

PA. Better than better.

PB. I made the decision to go to the Security Council. In spite of the divergences in my Administration, I said to them to my people that we had to work with our friends. It will be wonderful to count on one second resolution.

PA. The only thing which it worries to me about you is your optimism.

PB. I am optimistic because I believe that I am in the certain thing. I am peacefully with same me. It has corresponded to us to face a serious threat against La Paz. It irritates very many to contemplate me the insensibilidad of the European on the sufferings that Sadam Hussein inflicts the Iraqians. Perhaps because he is brown, distant and Muslim, many European think that everything is well with him. I will not forget what once Solana said to me: that why the Americans we thought that the European are anti-semitic and incapable to face their responsibilities. That defensive attitude is terrible. I must recognize that with Kofi Annan I have magnificent relations.

PA. It shares your ethical preoccupations.

PB. The more they attack the European as much to me the more hard I am in the United States.

PA. We would have to make your strength with the esteem compatible of the European.

0 0 votes
Article Rating