Bush - Blair - Painting U-2 Spy Plane in U.N. Colors - Trying to Lure Saddam into War
On January 31, 2003, "Bush met with Blair in the Oval Office for two hours."
Scene changed to Crawford Ranch for cinematic purposes.
"Blair had a request. He explained to Bush that he needed a second UN resolution that explicitly authorized military action against Iraq -- despite France's opposition. He promised his Labour Party one, and, with the British public decidedly opposed to an invasion of Iraq, a second UN resolution - at least an attempt to obtain one - was a political necessity. A memo written by a Blair aide recorded what the prime minister told Bush: 'If anything went wrong with the military campaign, or if Saddam increased the stakes by burning the oil wells, killing children or fomenting internal divisions within Iraq, a second resolution would give us cover, especially with the Arabs.' Bush agreed to help his ally and to 'twist arms' at the United Nations to win another vote there - even though Cheney never thought a second resolution was necessary and Powell now believed it wasn't achievable. But Bush told Blair that regardless of what happened at the United Nations or with inspections in Iraq, there was already a tentative start date for the war: March 10."
"Bush was clearly committed to an invasion. During the meeting, according to the memo, both Bush and Blair said they doubted that weapons of mass destruction would be discovered in the near future. Given that, Bush raised the idea of provoking a confrontation with Saddam and floated several possibilities. 'The U.S. was thinking,' the document reported, 'of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach' of existing UN resolutions. And a retaliatory attack would be justified. Bush was considering creating an incident to start the war."
("Hubris," Isikoff and Corn, pages 179-180. See also "The Greatest Story Ever Sold" by Frank Rich, page 190)