George Bush and the Iraq War - Down on Downing Street
You, the reader, should be aware of my affluence of love for literature in all its forms, for instance: the novel, the novella, the short story, the poem, and the comic strip - which, in its own right, is a literary and creative milestone tantamount in importance to Shakespeare.
However, without doubt, one of my favorite genres of literature is: the memo. From the shady corporate memo to the internal government top-secret, not-released-to-the-public-until-years-after-it-matters memo, memos interest me for a number of reasons. Most prominent of these is the all-too-human emotions memos - in the most sterile, inhuman way possible - convey: fears, misgivings, wants, rabid lusts, and damnable dishonesties... Oh, sorry, that's not an emotion.
Also not unfamiliar to the reader should be my love of literary devices: litotes, puns, metaphors, similes, analogies, syllogisms, and ironies - specifically those that are dramatic in nature. Truly, these are the weapons of the greatest warriors - and of the lowliest demagogues.
That's why I immediately fell in love with a newly released memo I found. It is a British memo, dubbed the "Downing Street Memo," written by a man named Matthew Rycroft, in which he reports on a meeting with prime minister Blair. Contained in the memorandum is info ascertained by the head of the British MI-6 (Sir Richard Dearlove, referred in the memo only by the alias "C") during a meeting in Washington. While Britons should find the info on their PM to be good reading (Blair's involvement in the conspiracy to wage war on Iraq sans just cause), the general plot of the memo is twofold:
1. Bush, by this memo's composition in mid-2002, had already decided to invade Iraq.
2. To this end, he had manipulated intelligence findings to fit his policy.
For motives unknown to the public (but that many suspect revolve around a certain three-letter word that rhymes with "boil" - as in, "Iraq's second-largest-reserves-on-earth make me boil with mirth" and "royal" - as in, "ExxonMobil will be living like royalty if we get our hands on Iraq's copious quantity"), Bush had decided roughly 8 months before the invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein must relinquish his iron grasp on the Iraqi people and their sweet, seductive crude. George made clear that Saddam must give up his weapons of mass destruction, or he would use military force to bring down his regime and free the Iraqi people from not only the relentless drudgery of living under Hussein, but also the relentless drudgery of living period.
This poignant memo seems to be the final brick that the anti-Bush legions have been seeking to build an airtight case against the emperor; a "smoking gun" that came not in the form of Condi's mushroom cloud, but rather in the form of a great mushrooming of evidence that Bush misconducted the war and, now, that he didn't even have a good reason for it.
I must say that our Prospero has done an excellent job in his efforts to masque our Red Death: gone are the days of TV journalists reporting from bloody battlefields while gunfire and explosions ring from every angle (reports which were in no small part responsible for the mass protests of Vietnam). Journalists today are a much more timid, placid breed than the Woodwards and Cronkites of yore. This is partially due to the administration's aggressive means of dealing with the press, which includes, as the Washington Times reports in the article, "Hundreds of Photos of Caskets Released," repressed images of deceased soldiers that had to be coaxed from the Pentagon with a lawsuit.
Now our situation becomes clear: Bush sits back and watches while those participating in the war that he, according to this memo, orchestrated for dubious reasons, are sent by the thousands into the abattoir.
Dictionary.com defines "dramatic irony" as, "irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play."
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