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Robin Cook’s viewpoint

Robin Cook, who resigned from the UK cabinet last week:

… If you take a response to 9/11 as being a driving force of the American approach to international affairs, I would strongly argue that one of the greatest assets that came out of that was the extraordinarily rich and powerfully diverse coalition against international terrorism.’

That coalition, according to Cook, has now been shattered on the altar of pre-emptive diplomacy. America has long planned to attack Iraq and splits in the UN, Nato and in the European Union were a price worth paying.

‘Now, I’m not an American politician but if I was I would be inveighing against the extent to which the Bush administration had allowed that terrific asset to disintegrate,’ Cook said.

‘Instead the US is left embarking on military action from a position of diplomatic weakness, unable to get any major international organisation to agree with it. We are heading for a very serious risk of a big gulf between the Western and Islamic world. That seems to me to have thrown away a powerful asset for the US which relates to its number one security concern.’

Also, some history (thanks to Dan Brickley for forwarding this): Ireland as the pivot of a league of nations, written by Michael Collins in 1921, shortly after Ireland’s declaration of independence from the UK:

Into such a League might not America be willing to enter? By doing so America would be on the way to secure the world ideal of free, equal, and friendly nations on which her aspirations are so firmly fixed. Ireland’s inclusion as a free member of this League would have a powerful influence in consolidating the whole body, for Ireland is herself a mother country with world-wide influences, and it is scarcely to be doubted that were she a free partner in the League as sketched the Irish in America would surely wish America to be associated in such a combination. In that League the Irish in Ireland would be joined with the Irish in America, and they would both share in a common internationality with the people of America, England, and the other free nations of the League. Through the link of Ireland a co-operation and understanding would arise between England and America, and would render unnecessary those safeguards which England wishes to impose upon Ireland and which by preserving an element of restraint might render less satisfactory the new relations between the two countries.

It’s incredible to consider how much has changed in world politics since those words were written 82 years ago.

And finally, some humour: Power Phillips Home Page:

Powers Phillips, P.C., is a small law firm located in downtown Denver, Colorado within convenient walking distance of over fifty bars and a couple of doughnut shops. Powers Phillips also maintains a small satellite office-in-exile on the cow-covered hillsides near Carbondale, Colorado, where it puts out to pasture some of its aging attorneys.

The firm is composed of lawyers from the two major strains of the legal profession, those who litigate and those who wouldn’t be caught dead in a courtroom.

Litigation lawyers are the type who will lie, cheat and steal to win a case and who can’t complete a sentence without the words ‘I object’ or ‘I demand another extension on that filing deadline.’ Many people believe that litigation lawyers are the reason all lawyers are held in such low esteem by the public. Powers Phillips, P.C. is pleased to report that only three of its lawyers, Trish Bangert, Tom McMahon, and Tamara Vincelette are litigation lawyers, and only one of them is a man.

And it gets worse from there on.