Today’s Guardian has a transcript of Robin Cook’s speech, published as an op-ed. The most astonishing thing, I thought, was that Cook openly articulated what I was beginning to think were taboo antiwar arguments in mainstream politics:
[…]We cannot base our military strategy on the basis that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a serious threat. Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of that term – namely, a credible device capable of being delivered against strategic city targets. It probably does still have biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions. But it has had them since the 1980s when the US sold Saddam the anthrax agents and the then British government built his chemical and munitions factories.
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? And why is it necessary to resort to war this week while Saddam’s ambition to complete his weapons programme is frustrated by the presence of UN inspectors?
[…]What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops to action in Iraq.</blockquote>
But the Guardian also balances this with an op-ed by Gore’s former boss, Bill Clinton, **who comes down in favour of war and argues that Britain should trust the leadership of his fellow Third-Wayer **Tony Blair.
In other news, Prime Minster Jean Chrétien has announced that Canada will not participate in a war on Iraq. An Anglo-Australian team takes the gold medal for extreme protest tactics in Sydney. Anglosphere indeed.