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A reply to this question: "hello all could someone please interpret mr cooper's article? i am unable to deduce any thesis that is presented. is he disinterring the "white man's burden" approach?" From: <Aswed@aol.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com> Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2003 3:58 PM Subject: Re: [casi] Nutcase Robert Cooper:"Civilise or die" Yes. Guardian and other world newspapers have been warning about Cooper for a long while. (But not in the US) Three examples from Guardian, Lebanon Star, Times of India: A new imperialism cooked up over a Texan barbecue Sovereignty is being redefined, so why has nobody noticed? Hugo Young Tuesday April 2, 2002 The Guardian Robert Cooper is an unusual public servant. Until recently he was one of Tony Blair's close personal foreign policy advisers, and he remains the most adventurous geopolitical thinker in the Foreign Office. He is rare for three reasons. He is creative beyond the norm. He does his thinking in public: last week Tam Dalyell called him a maniac, because he wrote an article advocating new empires as a plausible remedy for current global ills. Most important, he will be the ghost at the barbecue when Tony Blair spends the coming long weekend with President Bush in Crawford, Texas. Mr Cooper acquired, several years ago, a mysterious licence to publish. Mainline officials almost never write in public, but Cooper has done so many times. Some benign FCO boss must have decided there was virtue in letting a chink of light into the hidden world of British foreign policymaking, and knew that Cooper would show the department at its stimulating best. His theory of empire, as it appeared last week, is not new-minted. When it first appeared, in Prospect magazine six months ago, nobody called him mad, because nobody noticed. Earlier, there were those who thought they detected a whiff of the master in another Prospect piece, about Germany, written under the name of Cooper's partner, the great pianist Mitsuko Uchida - but nobody noticed that either. The first imperialist essay straddled a key moment. Completed before 9/11, it appeared shortly afterwards, a learned historical survey of old empires and their meaning, and an account of how a new idea of empire might help peace in the world. One can't prove the connection, but the text would have been helpful to those who crafted Blair's speech to the October party conference, his own definitive statement of moral imperialism in face of global terror. But a connection can now be more established with the thinking of the doves, let alone the hawks, in the Bush administration. The more recent essay sharpens up the first. Its argument, though controversial, is not crazy. One must assume that Tam D, and other Labour MPs whose nerve-ends were righteously electrified by the mere mention of empire, didn't read it in full. What Cooper proposes, in face of the pervasive threat from failed states, is a system of voluntary imperialism, or "cooperative empire", under which nations get together with their neighbours, the strong with the weaker, to start fashioning a world order that is less prey than the present one to manifold threats from international crime and weapons of mass destruction. The bones of this, he suggests, already exist. The Balkan peace is dependent on a voluntary international protectorate that brings not just soldiers but police, judges, prison officers and central bankers to Bosnia and Kosovo. The system he envisages is one not of imposition, but self-imposition. Duly encouraged, more nations might want to live under such a system that voluntarily reduces their so-called sovereignty. It is a sophisticated, far from incredible argument which, seeping across the Atlantic, now takes on startling new importance. For what do we now hear from the State Department? A similar proposition, directed at more immediate circumstances. Richard Haass is Colin Powell's director of policy planning. Interviewed in the New Yorker about future policy against global terrorism, he articulates a new doctrine of the limits of national sovereignty, to justify the interventions the US is currently contemplating. "Sovereignty entails obligations," Haass muses. "One is not to massacre your own people. Another is not to support terrorism in any way. If a government fails to meet these obligations, then it forfeits some of the normal advantages of sovereignty, including the right to be left alone inside your own territory. Other governments, including the US, gain the right to intervene. In the case of terrorism this can even lead to a right of preventive, or peremptory, self-defence." Speaking explicitly of an attack on Saddam Hussein, Haass states that the American public wouldn't need much persuading of the need for this. "We'd be able to make the case that this isn't a discretionary action but one done in self-defence." He speaks with confidence of being able to sign other major powers up to this idea of how the world should operate. Or, as Cooper writes, there'll be circumstances when "we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era - force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the 19th-century world of every state for itself". In Crawford, Blair will be arguing for restraint. His agenda is a wide one. He wants to talk with Bush about the practicality as much as the morality of an Iraq attack. He'll be urging maximum fulfilment of all UN processes. We may be certain that he's quite as aware as we are of the risks, at every level, of an assault on Saddam. Declining to publish the FCO's new dossier on Iraqi weaponry shows a proper apprehension about the state of domestic and Labour party opinion. Blair is being compelled, not before time, to become less of a personal unilateralist. But there's a significant gap in his armoury, which would have been unthinkable six months ago. I asked one of his entourage whether he was going to Texas in any way as a spokesman for the EU as a whole, and was told: "no way." This conversation will be between the Anglo-American leadership, studiously separated from continental Europeans, who are held to have too many perspectives. The prospect looms of Blair's passionate moralism being seduced into making common cause with Bush's aggressive pragmatism, in pursuit of a new doctrine of justifiable intervention which has not been discussed anywhere outside these two countries. It's urgently necessary that it should be. For the Richard Haass formulation, echoing so resonantly that of Robert Cooper, looks set to become a basic text of coming decades. If the campaign against global terror is to last as long as Donald Rumsfeld predicted - and it shows every sign of doing so - the new unsovereignty of nations will soon be as central to daily life as the UN charter. The imperial idea, however benignly refashioned, cannot be allowed to slide into the orthodoxy without the world having a chance to contest and refine, if not reject, it. The original thinker, meanwhile, has returned to the FCO. Downing Street, reorganising itself after the election, decided Mr Cooper did not fit. But not because of his ideas. He just wasn't enough of a bureaucrat. Mr Blair's needs moved on. He wanted close to him someone more at home with the nuts and bolts of the European Union, better equipped to make the prime minister a leader and shaper there. He may prove to have been a mover and shaker in the wider world too, exporting the thoughts of his adventurous former servant from east to west. But now he travels west himself, for a perilous meeting in which two countries begin to line up behind the new imperialism all on their own. firstname.lastname@example.org --April 2002 _________________________________________________________________ THE TIMES OF INDIA Call to Raj but India no longer white man's burden EUROVISION/RASHMEE Z AHMED TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 2002 12:46:58 AM As Tony Blair snatches up his pith helmet and designer-bleached pair of jodhpurs and awkwardly adjusts the white man's burden on his back, let us yet again recall Kipling, who poetically made it kosher to fight "the savage wars of peace". In 1899, the man who was arguably the greatest of Mumbai's imperial literary exports, declaimed, "Take up the White Man's burden/ In patience to abide, / To veil the threat of terror / And check the show of pride". Can we wonder in our post-September 11 terrorised world, if Kipling was not an ink-stained prophet of some sort, dimly forseeing the threat of terror and the show of pride that America, Britain and much of Europe have now pledged to bludgeon into submission? We can wonder, but we already know the answer. Kipling didn't have a clue about what shape and form the 21st century's phobias would take or indeed the fancifully modern European Union-led imperialism recently extolled and advocated by Blair's foreign policy guru, a thoughtful diplomat by the name of Robert Cooper. Cooper's arguments are important because for all that he is repeating a theory he has personally cogitated on, developed and propounded since 1996, this is really and truly His Master's Voice. The call to empire - and by extension, its regulation kit of jodhpurs and pith helmets - comes in a pamphlet that tellingly carries a foreword by Blair himself. Even so, the unofficial poet laureate to yesterday's Raj might have quibbled about the workaday prose of tomorrow's empire-builders. For, Cooper, a thinker but not clearly a writer, uses words like "defensive imperialism", "pre-modern states" and "zones of chaos" to justify his call for a new moral interventionist colonisation of countries that step out of line. Kipling's Raj had a poetic imperative: "To wait, in heavy harness, / On fluttered folk and wild -- / Your new-caught sullen peoples, /Half devil and half child". The Blair-Cooper regime offers only brute "force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world…". But eventually, the new empire will be patronising and prosaic and provide its "citizens with some of its laws, some coins and the occasional road". Should India be alarmed and repulsed in equal proportion? Yes, even though this time round history has dealt us a better hand. This time, we are largely safe from the attentions of those who seek to don nuclear attack-proof solar topis . Cooper deigns to call us a "modern state", on a par with China and on somewhat dubious parity with Pakistan. The latter is commended by the new Raj as a state that behaves "as states always have, following Machiavellian principles and raison d'état". So much for Kipling's exhortation to those who left the playing fields of Eton only to command vast tracts of our land with "dear-bought wisdom". At last then, we have seen the workman-like first draft of the old empire writing back, but with rather less sophistication than before and no cadence or rhythm at all. Can one wonder that so few are persuaded? http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/xml/uncomp/articleshow?art_id=540 2793 ________________________________________________________________ >From the Daily Star, Lebanon, 04/02/02: Anger over Cooper's Influence on Blair Cooper argues that active intervention is sometimes necessary, even if Western countries may break the rules. “Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws … but when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the post-modern continent of Europe, we need to revert to rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception.” To make sure he is perfectly understood, Cooper adds that “when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle.” So much for British diplomacy. One wonders why Blair’s government, before offering its PR services to Israel, does not first think of improving its own image in the world, not to mention within its own ruling party. Labor MPs were said to be absolutely furious about Cooper’s influence on Blair, and about his pamphlet. “The Tsarina of Russia was better advised by Rasputin than the prime minister is by this maniac,” said Tam Dalyell, one of the leading Labor backbenchers opposing a war on Iraq. It appears that Blair will go to any length to find some justification for the war on Iraq, or even for other wars of which we are still not aware. The Cooper pamphlet comes in the midst of obstinate opposition within Britain to armed intervention in Iraq (nearly 140 MPs have now signed the Commons Motion against it), and after the nuclear option was proposed last week by Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon. But Hoon had more to say this week, going a step further in provoking anger within party ranks when he said that Britain could join a strike on Iraq without prior approval from the UN. Hoon said on ITV that “as far as I understand the position, legally we would be perfectly entitled to use force as we have done in the past, without the support of a United Nations Security Council resolution.” He also took this opportunity to repeat that Britain would use “appropriate, proportionate responses” (including nuclear weapons) against the Iraqi regime. --Daily Star 04-02-02 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk