El Pais Publishes Transcript of 2003 Bush/Aznar Discussion: Invade Iraq

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El Pais, the major Spanish daily newspaper, just published what it professes to be a transcript of a private discussion between George W. Bush and Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar that took place on February 22, 2003 at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. El Pais says that the transcript was prepared by Spain’s ambassador to the United States, Javier Ruperez.

In their alleged conversation, Bush states that “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 also said that the takeover of Iraq would occur “without widespread destruction,” and that he was willing to play “good cop” to then-British prime minister Tony Blair’s “bad cop” (some of us may have trouble sorting that one out).

Throughout the conversation, Aznar calls for caution, but Bush tells him “My patience is exhausted.”

Notable quotes:

“We can win without destruction.”

“I am the one [who] has to console the mothers and the widows of [the dead].”

And one I will leave as translated by the Spanish translator because it actually sounds like Bush himself:

“We are developing a package of humanitarian aid very hard.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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