Friday, June 17, 2005

Bush Blocked as US Mood on Iraq Sours

By Rupert Cornwell, 17 June 2005

As American and Iraqi casualties on the ground mount relentlessly, President George Bush is in growing political trouble, with Republicans as well as Democrats questioning his handling of a war that has never been less popular here.

In the most visible protest, the veteran Democratic congressman John Conyers organised a forum on the so-called 'Downing Street Memo', the July 2002 British Government document indicating that the Bush administration had already made up its mind to invade Iraq, and that intelligence was being 'fixed' to fit that policy.

Six weeks after it was leaked in the British press, the memo has belatedly become a hot topic in Washington. Mr Conyers was to present a petition from more than 100 of his Democratic colleagues in the House, signed by 500,000 people, demanding that Mr Bush explain himself.

The day before, six more US servicemen died in Iraq, bringing the combat casualty total to at least 1,706, with 12,000 wounded. And countless thousands of Iraqis have been killed or wounded in daily suicide bombings.

There is an increasingly sour mood in America, much disillusioned with Mr Bush, and inclined to share Mr Conyers' belief that 'we got into a secret war we hadn't planned, and now we're in it we can't get out'.


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