November 22, 2005

Did Bush want to bomb al-Jazeera?

PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.

But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.

The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.

A source said last night: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.

"He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

"There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do - and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."

A Government official suggested that the Bush threat had been "humorous, not serious".

But another source declared: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."

Yesterday former Labour Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle challenged Downing Street to publish the five-page transcript of the two leaders' conversation. He said: "It's frightening to think that such a powerful man as Bush can propose such cavalier actions.

"I hope the Prime Minister insists this memo be published. It gives an insight into the mindset of those who were the architects of war."

Bush disclosed his plan to target al-Jazeera, a civilian station with a huge Mid-East following, at a White House face-to-face with Mr Blair on April 16 last year.
al-Jazeera headquarters were bombed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, killing one of their reporters. The U.S. has said it was accidental in one case and maintained there were insurgents firing from the building housing al-Jazeera in the other. It is widely believed that both assertions were preposterous.

al-Jazeera, as revealed in the superb documentary "Control Room", is an independent and responsible Arabic news channel.

If Bush indeed wanted to bomb their headquarters in Qatar, a U.S. ally, it's insane.

Since the story broke, the Mirror has had the British equivalent of the Attorney General threaten them with charges if they revealed further details of the memo. Does that sound like something that's false or made up, as the White House says it is?


At 11/22/2005 10:26 PM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

A Government official suggested that the Bush threat had been "humorous, not serious".

When that's your defense, you're dead in the water. I don't believe this line, but even if it were true it doesn't cast George W. the least bit in better light. In fact, if this is Bush's idea of humor, it's all the more callous and heinous.

Consult his mother, the Silver Douche Bag, to see where W. inherited his compassion and broad worldview.

At 11/22/2005 11:55 PM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

See the Poll results on where, as of 12:52 a.m. EST, 70% of 40,809 votes answered "yes" to the following question: "Do you believe President Bush talked about bombing the HQ of Arabic-language TV network al-Jazeera?"

At 11/23/2005 12:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That says a lot. Without absolute proof, it's not the least bit difficult to imagine Bush actually proposing this.

The guy is an immoral, shallow, and power-drunk jerk.

At 11/23/2005 3:35 AM, Anonymous Dan said...

Hey it's good to see the blog community getting on this story, it's important and I don't want people to take it for granted. I have also blogged on it, I run a satirical political site and have decided to focus on this story so it doesn't get swept under the rug with thanksgiving coming up. Hope you'll visit and leave me a comment

At 11/23/2005 7:03 AM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Final tally I saw on the CNN poll was that 70% of 65,425 votes said yes to: " Do you believe President Bush talked about bombing the HQ of Arabic-language TV network al-Jazeera?"

All of which will be dismissed as "liberal bias" by the conservative-dominated media, or anyone else who doesn't like this result.

At 11/23/2005 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinda makes you think of Dana Carvey imitating Bush Sr during the war -- "Bomb em - Bomb em good!" G Bush -- circa 1990

At 11/23/2005 8:54 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yes anon, in many ways, the Bush administration is farce imitating life.

And Matt, while online polls are always suspect, a plurality of nearly 3 to 1 would indicate that there must be a fair number of former Bush supporters or Republicans which have simply lost faith in this wanna-be tinpot dictator.

Republicans are justly famous for their Stepford Wife-like party discipline. Between the wealthy and the fundies, Republican politics has truly become a religion in many ways.

But even so, people won't ride a horse when it's heading over a cliff.

In much the same way that some Illinois Dems are peeling off and opposing Blagojevich, the previously unthinkable is happening nationally. Republicans have followed Bush through thick and thin and good and mostly bad, but even they have their limits.

As I've long said, it's as if Dems simply have no voice. They can talk all day and night, and no one seems to take what they say remotely seriously. No one pays attention.

I knew that until Republicans began to opppose Bush, nothing would ever gain traction in the press and with the public conciousness.

As pathetic and sad and wrong as that is, it's been true.

And when even Chuck Grassley starts saying "George who?" , you REALLY know Bush is in, as his Dad would say, deep doo-doo.

So though the online polls are a bit iffy, it reflects Bush's plummeting approval poll numbers, which are only possible due to a fairly large number of Republicans and former Bush supporting independents having seen the light.

At 11/23/2005 2:52 PM, Blogger diehard said...

You cannot be a poor represenative of the people and expect to get their support.
And that is what wev'e seen with Blagoavitch and Bush.


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