25 January 2004

Cook: Blair Must Admit Iraq War Was Mistake

Mr Cook continued: "I have always believed that the difficulty was not that Tony was behaving in a way which was deceiving the world. He was behaving in a way which had a missionary zeal, an evangelical certainty ...

"The reality of course is that No 10 was keen to get into the war, not frankly because they were particularly concerned about WMD - I suspect by March they also knew that the September document had over-egged the case - they were keen to get in to impress President Bush that they were a reliable ally. That is not a good basis on which to run British foreign policy.

Mr Cook said that Mr Blair should use the opportunity of the publication of the Hutton report next Wednesday to set the record straight.

"I believe that Tony Blair has been a very good Prime Minister, and his domestic record is a very good record. I will judge him on the totality of that. But on this he made a wrong call, and frankly in his own interests as well as in the interests of Britain, and to make sure that we never do this again, he really does need to face up to that, and he has got a good opportunity this week to say so.

The Man of Steel should probably take a good hard look at his war policy, the progress of the FTA negotatiations and then follow Cook's advice as well. A fair dinkum Man of Steel would have the spine to do so.

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