Former UK (Labour) Foreign Secretary Robin Cook died suddenly August 6. Mr. Cook had previously resigned his post in protest of the Blair government joining the US in erasing the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein and his lovely sons Uday and Attila.
For four years as Foreign Secretary I was partly responsible for the western strategy of containment. Over the past decade that strategy destroyed more weapons than in the Gulf war, dismantled Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme and halted Saddam’s medium and long-range missiles programmes.
Equally proud of the "strategy of containment" was Cook's American counterpart, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright:
Lesley Stahl, on 60 Minutes: “We have heard that half a million children have died (in Iraq). I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And you know, is the price worth it?"
Madame Albright:“I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”
Osama bin Laden, after consulting Islamic scholars, has determined that 4 million Westerners must die to square accounts with the Muslim world. About a million are attributed to the sanctions that "contained" Saddam & Family. Osama is cruel but fair.
A half-million kids? A million altogether? I don't know, but the West has never effectively denied it, and it is now taken as gospel truth in the Islamic world.
What we do know is this Iraq War cost far fewer lives than the "peaceful" sanctions, and most of those who've died were guilty-as-hell enthusiastic al-Qaeda or Ba'athist homicidal maniacs, and that any further deaths today are from Muslims killing innocent Muslims.
What we do know is that Osama's 4 million strong butcher's bill will be justified not by Bush's action against Saddam, but by Cook's and Albright's.
Rest in peace as well as you can, Mr. Cook. By your own admission, you are partly responsible for the "strategy of containment," the sanctions that killed only the innocents in Iraq, because you lacked the guts to pull the trigger on a sadistic mass-murderer and his even more psychopathic anointed successors. Starvation is eco-friendly, and seldom makes the front page.
If Osama has any justification at all, it was you, Mr. Cook, who provided it. You and Madame Albright killed more Muslims than the Crusaders ever did. You expected to wash your hands and walk away? No, moral vanity isn't absolution. You thought war was bad? Your cowardly version of peace, "containment," was far more deadly.
Now it's up to we the living to clean up your mess. I hope you wish us luck from wherever you are now, Mr. Cook. I suppose you did your best, but the price was not worth it.
(Next: Peter Jennings)