The left is jumping over a report out of Spain that they say affirms their belief that Bush was going to go into Iraq no matter what happens:
According to a new report published today by El Pais, Spain’s largest daily newspaper, Bush told then-Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the time that he was going to invade Iraq no matter what happened. Spanish speakers can read the transcript of their discussion — I’m a little rusty — but E&P has a report on the revelations.
El Pais, the highest-circulation daily in Spain, today published what it said was the transcript of a private talk between President George W. Bush and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on February 22, 2003, concerning the coming U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The conversation took place on the President’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. The confidential transcript was prepared by Spain’s ambassador to the United States, Javier Ruperez, the paper said.
Bush purportedly said he planned to invade Iraq in March “if there was a United Nations Security Council resolution or not…. We have to get rid of Saddam. We will be in Baghdad at the end of March.”
He said the U.S. takeover would happen without widespread destruction. He observed that he was willing to play bad cop to British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s good cop.
According to the transcript, Aznar asked Bush to be more patient and emphasized the importance of a U.N. resolution. The president said he was out of patience. Aznar said he was worried that Bush was overly optimistic about what would happen. Bush reportedly said, “I am optimistic because I believe I am right. I am at peace with myself.”
Editor and Publisher has a machine translation, which is quite atrocious.[…]What it says is that the US would be in Iraq in mid-March whether there was a second UN resolution or not, one that Bush said he would try to get by all means, which is an entirely different matter. As everybody knows, there’s certainly a debate on whether the first resolution was enough or not -many reputable experts think it was, though there’s not unanimity on this, certainly. But the issue is different.
Oh, the first resolution was most definitely enough, there was no need for a second resolution and Bush knew this.
Here is his translation:
[Bush: Saddam won’t change and will keep playing games. The moment of getting rid of him has arrived. That’s it. As for me, from now on I’ll try to use the softest rhetoric I can, while we look for the resolution to be approved. If some country vetoes [the resolution] we’ll go in. Saddam is not disarming. We must catch him right now. We have shown an incredible amount of patience until now. We have two weeks. In two weeks our military will be ready. I think we’ll achieve a second resolution. In the Security Council we have three African countries [Cameroon, Angola, Guinea], the Chileans, the Mexicans. I’ll talk with all of them, also with Putin, naturally. We’ll be in Baghdad at the end of March. There’s a 15% chance that by then Saddam is dead or has flown. But these possibilities won’t exist until we have shown our resolution. The Egyptians are talking with Saddam Hussein. It seems he has hinted he’d be willing to leave if he’s allowed to take 1 billion dollars and all the information on WMDs. Ghadaffi told Berlusconi that Saddam wants to leave. Mubarak tells us that in these circumstances there are big chances that he’ll get killed.
We’d like to act with the mandate of the UN. If we act militarily, we’ll do with great precision and focalizing our targets to the biggest degree. We’ll decimate the loyal troops and the regular army will quickly know what it’s all about. … We are developing a very strong aid package. We can win without destruction. We are working already in the post-Saddam Iraq, and I think there’s a basis for a better future. Iraq has a good bureaucracy and a relatively strong civil society. It could be organized as a federation. Meanwhile we’re doing all we can to fulfill the political needs of our friends and allies. — note: my emphasis and translation]
Interesting that Saddam wanted to take his WMD plans huh? I mean if we are to believe the left then Saddam really never wanted WMD’s and any WMD program he had was no danger to anyone. But here he is insisting that he wanted to take his WMD plans with him.
Wonder why that would be? Sigh….
Barcepundit also notes that the correct translation depicts Bush as someone who DID NOT want war, he was no warmongerer:
["I don’t want war. I know what wars are like. I know the death and destruction they bring. I am the one who has to comfort the mothers and wifes of the dead. Of course, for us [a diplomatic solution] would be the best one. Also, it would save 50 billion dollars" — again, my emphasis and translation]
The translations shows us the exact opposite of what the left is telling us it says, unfortunately for them. But I find it curious that the Zapatero administration would leak this info to a paper sympathetic to their cause. Why now? A bit late in the game isn’t it since the Democrats will not pull the troops out and run like cowards, no matter how much they want to, and Bush isn’t running for a third term as President.