The Despicable Robin Cook

The New York Times leads today’s story about Robin Cook, Great Britain’s former Foreign Secretary, with one of its characteristically false headlines: “Ex-Minister Says Blair Knew Iraq Had No Banned Arms.”
Of course, that isn’t what Cook said at all. But what Cook did say is deeply contemptible:
“Mr. Cook, who resigned his post as leader of the House of Commons because of Britain’s decision to join in the American-led war, said Mr. Blair…made it clear to him in a conversation two weeks before combat began that he did not believe Saddam Hussein’s weapons posed a ‘real and present danger’ to Britain.”
The real threat to Britain, according to Cook, came from a different source entirely:
“Mr. Cook said that days after publication of the intelligence dossier, he returned from a trip to Continental Europe and reported to fellow ministers that people there and in the Middle East saw Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel as a greater threat than Mr. Hussein. ‘Somewhat to my surprise,’ he said, ‘this line provoked a round of “hear, hearing” from colleagues, which is the nearest I’ve heard to a mutiny in the cabinet.'”
Which goes to show, I guess, how close Great Britain might be to the degraded state of continental Europe, but for Blair’s lonely leadership.

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