Good Lord ... did we really almost go after Saddam before bin Laden and the Taliban?
US President George Bush was persuaded by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair not to attack Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the 11 September terrorist attacks, it has been claimed.
According to a former British ambassador to Washington, the US president had come under intense pressure from some in his own military to attack Saddam Hussein in the days after the 2001 terrorist outrages in the US.
But, said Sir Christopher Meyer, when Mr Blair met the US president at his Camp David retreat a few days later he succesfully argued for al-Qaeda and the Taleban regime in Afghanistan to be confronted first.
"Tony Blair's view was: 'Whatever you're going to do about Iraq, you should concentrate on the job at hand and the job at hand was get al-Qaeda, give the Taleban an ultimatum'," Sir Christopher said.
The former ambassador was speaking on a documentary that will be screened on the PBS network in America on Thursday.
Called Blair's War, it looks at the prime minister's attempts to try and maintain an alliance against Saddam Hussein.
He said that after listening to Mr Blair's argument, Mr Bush decided to "leave Iraq for another day"....
I said on January 27, "you have to wonder whether bloodthirsty courtiers are whispering in Bush's ear precisely what they think will motivate him to do what they want him to do" -- i.e., attack Iraq. Was I really right about this?