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Thread: From The Grave And Beyond, Cook Swipes At Blair Over War

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    From The Grave And Beyond, Cook Swipes At Blair Over War

    From the grave and beyond, Cook swipes at Blair over war

    (Gold9472: "Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally "the database", was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Inexplicably, and with disastrous consequences, it never appears to have occurred to Washington that once Russia was out of the way, Bin Laden's organisation would turn its attention to the west." - Robin Cook)

    By Paul Kelbie
    Published: 10 January 2007

    The late Robin Cook's role as the leading parliamentary critic of Tony Blair's drive to war in Iraq will be made plain to future generations by a statement on his headstone

    As a final rebuke to the Prime Minister from whose government he resigned over the conflict, Cook's gravestone at Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh carries the legend: "I may not have succeeded in halting the war, but I did secure the right of Parliament to decide on war." The quotation, taken from his memoir, Point of Departure, was chosen by his widow, Gaynor, and his two sons, Peter and Christopher.

    The Livingston MP died aged 59 from a heart attack while walking in the Scottish Highlands 16 months ago. The 5ft 2in headstone also describes the former foreign secretary and leader of the House of Commons as a "parliamentarian and statesman", as well as a "beloved husband" and "much-missed father".

    Mr Blair was criticised at the time of Cook's funeral, for failing to attend, despite a big turnout from many senior Labour MPs, including John Prescott and Gordon Brown.

    Cook won a standing ovation when he resigned in March 2003 after delivering a withering speech on the Government's decision to go to war without any proof that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

    "From the start of the present crisis, I have insisted, as Leader of the House, on the right of this place to vote on whether Britain should go to war," he told MPs. "It has been a favourite theme of commentators that this House no longer occupies a central role in British politics. Nothing could better demonstrate that they are wrong than for this House to stop the commitment of troops in a war that has neither international agreement nor domestic support."

    He dismissed Mr Blair's claim that the Iraqi dictator had weapons of mass destruction capable of being deployed, and demanded to know: "Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?"

    In announcing his intention to vote against the Government Cook, who had spent almost 20 years as a frontbench MP, said he had been left with little alternative but to resign. However two days later, after nine hours of debate and a serious backbench rebellion, the Government won the backing of MPs to send UK troops into Iraq after they voted 396 to 217 against a motion declaring that the case for war "has not yet been established". The former foreign secretary took some consolation that he had at least helped ensure Parliament should vote on the war before troops were committed - an "historic precedent".

    Gordon Brown and David Cameron have publicly committed themselves to ensuring Parliament has the final say in future and a House of Lords committee last year recommended enshrining a vote over the declaration of war into parliamentary convention.

    "Before the decision to hold a vote on whether to go to war in Iraq, Parliament had never had the right to make a decision. Whatever one's views on the war this is an important constitutional point and a suitable legacy for him," said Alistair Darling, the Trade Secretary and Edinburgh South West MP.

    "Everybody accepts that, in the normal course of events, Parliament should have a right to vote on whether UK troops go into war. Gordon Brown and others have said so and I think there is now a political consensus."

    No 10 refused to comment on the epitaph. "The Prime Minister paid his tribute to Robin at the time of his death and we have nothing more to say," said Mr Blair's spokesman.

    Robin Cook's stand against the decision to go to war
    "For the first time in the history of Parliament, the Commons formally took the decision to commit Britain to conflict.

    Now that the Commons has established its right to vote on the commitment of British troops to action, no future government will find it easy to take it away again. And one consequence of the controversy over the Government's justification for the war is that next time the case for war will be more thoroughly tested by a more sceptical Commons.

    I may not have succeeded in halting the war, but I did secure the right of Parliament to decide on war."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    YouCrazyDiamond Guest
    However, I find myself wondering lately if Russia is really out of the way.

    It is not out of the realm of possibility that Russia is in part behind so much of what is happening these last several years.

    Why shouldn’t Russia attempt to use similar tactics on the USA with regard to getting a 'foe' (or enemy) stuck in a quagmire?

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