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Resignations in British Cabinet

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#1 Godeskian

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 07:27 PM

Robin Cook has just resigned from Blair's cabinet.

Clare Short is likely to resign in the current emergency briefing.

in protest over Blairs goverments decision to abandon the UN

Edited by Godeskian, 17 March 2003 - 07:30 PM.

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#2 Rhea

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 07:56 PM

Looks like Blair's going to be losing a job down the line.
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#3 Rov Judicata

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 07:57 PM

^

I'm not so sure.

We'll see how war turns out, and what public perception is after this all goes down.
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#4 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 01:26 AM

Rhea, on Mar 17 2003, 04:53 PM, said:

Looks like Blair's going to be losing a job down the line.
Depends.   I’m willing to bet the non supporters will be singing a different tune if the war is a quick stomping with minimal casualties and loads of WMD captured intact.  

Not to even mention how quickly they’ll want to distance themselves opinion wise from France and Germany once their dirty deeds are uncovered.
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#5 Talkie Toaster

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 02:10 AM

Rhea, on Mar 17 2003, 04:53 PM, said:

Looks like Blair's going to be losing a job down the line.
I doubt it. Most of the Labour Party supports Blair and is falling in line.

It will be a shame if Short goes, but as for Robin Cook he was obviously not liked as he was ditched from the Foreign Office - he got in Blair's way and he's probably saved Tony the time of sacking him completely in the near future.
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#6 Christopher

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 02:20 AM

CJ AEGIS, on Mar 17 2003, 05:23 PM, said:

Depends.   I’m willing to bet the non supporters will be singing a different tune if the war is a quick stomping with minimal casualties and loads of WMD captured intact.
Big if.  And if the Mideast, a tinderbox already, doesn't erupt into chaos in response to this hamfisted tactic.  Nobody's offered any credible reason to believe that the Kurds won't take advantage of this to try to split off their own state, further destabilizing the region.  And if Saddam even points a BB gun in Israel's direction, Sharon will gleefully retaliate and start a whole new Arab-Israeli War.  Not to mention how many more followers the radical Islamist parties will gain now that they can claim they were right about our imperialist agenda.  The region's discourse is already far too polarized, and a war can only polarize it further and worsen things.

Besides, even if the worst doesn't happen, it's naive to assume that deposing Saddam and his cronies will be the end of it.  It'll just be the beginning.  It will take a whole new Marshall Plan, years of dedicated diplomacy and rebuilding and economic aid, to bring stability to the region.  Will the American people get behind that?  Will the Republican Congress get behind that much foreign spending?  Especially with the state our economy's likely to be in?
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#7 G1223

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 02:41 AM

Very true there is no short term answer here. I excpet it to be a at least ten year operation. But I also think that Blair and his side are going to get it toghere. This guy has ignored 12 years worth of UN resautions. That or thumbed his nose  at them. Mean whiel France and Germany have continued to supply him with the materials he needs.

I think the nicest thing to do is go get him and when we find the proof of Frances involvment make it public along with the Germans. Place heavy sanctions against them and promise to reveal all the dirty tricks their government has doen and will do. Offer those German corpartions that are looking for places to go insentives to come here. so that the Germans will have even more unemployment.
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#8 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 04:09 AM

Quote

Christopher: Nobody's offered any credible reason to believe that the Kurds won't take advantage of this to try to split off their own state, further destabilizing the region.

I seem to recall that the Kurds have said they won’t split off from Iraq as long as they have some say in the eventual coalition government.  Probably because they know Turkey wouldn’t react well to them splitting off.  

Quote

Christopher: And if Saddam even points a BB gun in Israel's direction, Sharon will gleefully retaliate and start a whole new Arab-Israeli War.

For all of Sharon’s reactionary attitudes I think the US will make it clear he is to sit on his hands.  Unless Saddam gets off a successful WMD attack against Israel they’ll probably just play the way they did during the Gulf War.  The newer Patriot Missiles are more capable of protecting Israel than the ones we had back then.
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#9 MuseZack

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 11:15 PM

Here's an article by Robin Cook himself, explaining his reasons for resigning.  Even if one disagrees with him, he's tremendously eloquent in describing what must have been a difficult decision for him:

"I have resigned from the cabinet because I believe that a fundamental principle of Labour's foreign policy has been violated. If we believe in an international community based on binding rules and institutions, we cannot simply set them aside when they produce results that are inconvenient to us.

I cannot defend a war with neither international agreement nor domestic support. I applaud the determined efforts of the prime minister and foreign secretary to secure a second resolution. Now that those attempts have ended in failure, we cannot pretend that getting a second resolution was of no importance.  

In recent days France has been at the receiving end of the most vitriolic criticism. However, it is not France alone that wants more time for inspections. Germany is opposed to us. Russia is opposed to us. Indeed at no time have we signed up even the minimum majority to carry a second resolution. We delude ourselves about the degree of international hostility to military action if we imagine that it is all the fault of President Chirac.  

The harsh reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading member. Not Nato. Not the EU. And now not the security council. To end up in such diplomatic isolation is a serious reverse. Only a year ago we and the US were part of a coalition against terrorism which was wider and more diverse than I would previously have thought possible. History will be astonished at the diplomatic miscalculations that led so quickly to the disintegration of that powerful coalition.  

Britain is not a superpower. Our interests are best protected, not by unilateral action, but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules. Yet tonight the international partnerships most important to us are weakened. The European Union is divided. The security council is in stalemate. Those are heavy casualties of war without a single shot yet being fired.  

The threshold for war should always be high. None of us can predict the death toll of civilians in the forthcoming bombardment of Iraq. But the US warning of a bombing campaign that will "shock and awe" makes it likely that casualties will be numbered at the very least in the thousands. Iraq's military strength is now less than half its size at the time of the last Gulf war. Ironically, it is only because Iraq's military forces are so weak that we can even contemplate invasion. And some claim his forces are so weak, so demoralised and so badly equipped that the war will be over in days.  

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 seri ous 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?  

I have heard it said that Iraq has had not months but 12 years in which to disarm, and our patience is exhausted. Yet it is over 30 years since resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.  

We do not express the same impatience with the persis tent refusal of Israel to comply. 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.  

I believe the prevailing mood of the British public is sound. They do not doubt that Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator. But they are not persuaded he is a clear and present danger to Britain. They want the inspections to be given a chance. And they are suspicious that they are being pushed hurriedly into conflict by a US administration with an agenda of its own. Above all, they are uneasy at Britain taking part in a military adventure without a broader international coalition and against the hostility of many of our traditional allies. It has been a favourite theme of commentators that the House of Commons has lost its central role in British politics. Nothing could better demonstrate that they are wrong than for parliament to stop the commitment of British troops to a war that has neither international authority nor domestic support.  "
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#10 Bad Wolf

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 11:25 PM

Eloquently said.  And I agree.
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#11 Ilphi

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:13 AM

Although Claire made a statment saying she would resign if we went to war, she has not yet done so.

The charitable side of me says that is because she wants to help with the re-building operation.... the cynical side, well...

#12 Enmar

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:15 AM

CJ AEGIS, on Mar 18 2003, 03:06 AM, said:

Quote

Christopher: And if Saddam even points a BB gun in Israel's direction, Sharon will gleefully retaliate and start a whole new Arab-Israeli War.

For all of Sharon’s reactionary attitudes I think the US will make it clear he is to sit on his hands.  Unless Saddam gets off a successful WMD attack against Israel they’ll probably just play the way they did during the Gulf War.  The newer Patriot Missiles are more capable of protecting Israel than the ones we had back then.

I second that, Israel will probably not retaliate unless attacked by WMD, I’m not so sure about “successful”, I think the point is the attack itself. Not responding to an unsuccessful WMD attack is inviting the next one. The new Patriots are much better than the old ones, and they serve only as back up to the new Khetz missiles, which where designed to that purpose, so all together things are looking pretty safe. Any protection will have problem with very high number of simultaneous attacks, but we all know Iraq will not be able to launch massive attack while fighters are patrolling the sky.

Quote

Zack said that Cook said:I believe that a fundamental principle of Labour's foreign policy has been violated. If we believe in an international community based on binding rules and institutions, we cannot simply set them aside when they produce results that are inconvenient to us.

I cannot defend a war with neither international agreement nor domestic support. I applaud the determined efforts of the prime minister and foreign secretary to secure a second resolution. Now that those attempts have ended in failure, we cannot pretend that getting a second resolution was of no importance. 

Can I second that and still enjoy the outcome of the war?

I’m afraid we are going backwards, loosing sight of the importance of the international community. When the majority of people in your country vote for a government you don’t like, you can call them stupid but you will probably not ignore their decision, even if you could force your opinion. The reason is that democracy and human rights are much more important, in the long run, than the current crisis, no matter how big and important it is. This is a big mistake and I’m surprised that Blair is doing it, I really admire him.

Still “enjoy” it?
Yes, because as an Israeli I have two things to gain (IMPOV):
1. Saadam and his WMD are our problem, always have been. Now the big bullies will take care of them for us, and maybe of the Irani WMD later, and no one will scream at us as they did when Israel blew up the Iraqi nuclear factory during the 80’s.
2. Iraq is just the first stop, and the end of this process will be peaceful mead east. I truly believe that, I just hope the American diplomats will do better than they did during this crisis.


Quote

Zack said that Cook said: I have heard it said that Iraq has had not months but 12 years in which to disarm, and our patience is exhausted. Yet it is over 30 years since resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.

That’s ______(<-fill in your favorite 4 letters word)
No one ever respects the UN resolutions, but Israel is always the sole example. Especially when a country with a growing population of Arabs is going on a war against an Arab country.



Last, and most important, Sharon.

This man is dangerous. He believes in violence, he believes that if you retaliate strong enough the attack will stop and he believes that this is what the people who voted for him expect him to do. Worse, he has (IMPOV) no respect for law and decision making processes in democracy. He has the nerves to force a decision on his government or simply find a way to justify making the decision without the government, even though he was not elected on personal elections.

Israeli television reviled about a week ago what really happened that day in last war, when several missiles hit and the government had to decide what to do. They did not have access to the protocols, so they talked with people who attended that meeting. They say different things, but they all said that Sharon was the speaker for hard retaliation.

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#13 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 02:59 AM

[Quote]Enmar: I second that, Israel will probably not retaliate unless attacked by WMD, I’m not so sure about “successful”, I think the point is the attack itself.[/quote}

I mean successful in the sense that it wasn’t destroyed in flight by the TMD missiles and managed to inflict heavy Israeli casualties.  The second restraining factor is Sharon is smart enough to realize that lobbing nuclear weapons at a country that currently has US troops invading it is not a good way to make your most important ally happy.  Sharon badly needs continued US support and lobbying nuclear weapons into locations that might and likely will contain US troops is not a good way to secure it.    

[Quote]Enmar: The new Patriots are much better than the old ones, and they serve only as back up to the new Khetz missiles, which where designed to that purpose, so all together things are looking pretty safe. [/quote}

The Arrow II does seem to be a very capable system.  It at least has a longer reach than the PAC-2; between the two you should have a fairly solid defense.  Using the Patriots to pick off missiles that slip past the Arrow II.
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