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Saturday, August 06, 2005 

Robin Cook has died.

I am posting this right now just to get the word out.

We here at DowningStreetMemo.com are stunned, and incredibly sad thinking about what might have been. There will be some of our more eloquent writers here soon to say in better prose what we feel, but for now just think about how the world is that much grayer with one less of those all-too-rare true public servants of which Mr. Cook was a prime example.

Requiescat in pace.

The BBC
The Guardian

 posted by weblackey  # 2:09 PM  
Comments:
I find myself devastated by this news.
 
Robin had his heart and mind on the right place. He was sincere and dared to defend his opinion against the Labour majority which was going for the Iraq war.
A devasting loss.
I wonder why Robin Cook and not Dick Cheney?
The world is not fair.
 
Robin Cook was a wonderful human being>>> God bless and rest his soul.
 
Dick Cheney has a mechanical heart....

He replaced his real heart with a machine. Hes waiting for the american people to bring him down themselves
 
Cindy is the heart of the fallen
 
One of the oddest things about Cook's public career was his strange demotion from Foreign Secretary to Leader of the House of Commons after the 2001 election that Labour won. He had been fairly successful as Foreign Secretary, he was certainly one of the smartest MPs of any party, and his divorce, though scandalous and messy, was behind him. Both Blair and Cook tried to pretend it was not a demotion. In fact, Blair would continue to rely upon Cook to take the reins of government when Blair was out of the country. The whole business has been shrouded in secrecy and has provoked the most intense speculation.

I just encountered an explanation, from Richard Ingrams in the Observer (8/14). This is stunning news of itself:

In all the tributes to [Robin Cook], I was unable to discover why it was that this brilliant man, acclaimed by colleagues and obituarists as a Foreign Secretary of exceptional ability, was relieved of his post in 2001.

But recent books by James Naughtie and New Statesman editor John Kampfner both suggest that Cook was not popular in Washington, where he made no secret of his aversion, in particular to Vice-President Dick Cheney, a feeling that was mutual.

'Blair had been picking up misgivings,' Kampfner writes, 'ever so gentle, from the Bush administration.'

It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if Blair had stood by his man and Cook had remained at the Foreign Office. If the Foreign Secretary had resigned on the brink of war, it is doubtful British troops would be in Iraq or if Blair would still be at Number 10.


Here's the link: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,1548868,00.html

The implications are stunning, though from what we know of both Blair and Cheney, not surprising: Blair retailored his government to suit Bush and Cheney. (Incidentally, one of the other strong opponents of the Iraq war, David Blunkett, has in the interim been demoted from Home Secretary [essentially Sec. of Interior] to lowly Pensions Minister.)

This helps to give a much needed context to the behavior of Blair in 2002. Most of his cabinet ministers were opposed to Bush's planned invasion and argued against British involvement at a meeting on March 7, 2002 (as Robin Cook says in his diary, published as Point of Departure). In a ministerial government such as Britain's, that should have blocked Blair from going any further along the road to war, but instead Blair ignored his ministers' will.

Then there is the fact that the Downing Street Memo reveals extremely harsh criticism of the Bush plans, even an admission that there was no legal justification for war. Further, they can already see the the Bush administration's planning for the occupation was highly troubling.

So why did the Blair government in those circumstances reconcile itself to joining Bush? Why did Cabinet ministers go along so meekly with Blair's high-handed, presidential-style leadership once Blair had demonstrated that he would not be shaken from his support for Bush? Why were there no further attempts at Cabinet meetings after March 7, 2002 (again, per Cook) to impede the rush to war?

It now seems that the answer is Blair had already demonstrated that he would let the Bush administration pull any strings in the British government that it wanted to, even to the point of replacing the Foreign Minister with somebody more amenable to the White House.

If true, this is very reminiscent of the arrogant behavior of the Roman Senate, and later Emperor, toward manipulating allied governments.
 
Today was a sad one for all us living on the Planet! - A great political visionary in the western world died. Unlike our American idiots who stood behind the Texan Nero, yea including you idiot Democrats (you listing Kerry, Hillary... etc.....), Robin Cook (a real hero) put his career on the line and quit as the foreign minister of UK because of the actions of the Texan Nero and his poodle, Blair. God Bless your soul Robin!, we can only hope more politicians like you can speak the truth, and truly stand up to their beliefs this side of the Pond!

http://aconceptualkickintheass.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_aconceptualkickintheass_archive.html
 
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