Right way to send a message

By: Ramesh Thakur | Posted in: Blog | 11 September, 2013 | 6:05 pm

CANBERRA – For a U.S. president who first gained prominence for his gift with words, Barack Obama can be remarkably loose with his language no matter how grave the context and potential consequences. His policy conundrum on Syria stems from a casual drawing of a red line at a press conference last year if chemical weapons were used. Now, to avoid red faces — also known as loss of presidential and national credibility — the red line ultimatum requires a demonstration of U.S. military power robust enough to avoid being mocked but not so sharp as to tip the scales …

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On Syria, Tony Abbott has been right to show caution

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 11 September, 2013 | 6:00 pm

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Is America now becoming an international outlaw?

By: Ramesh Thakur | Posted in: Blog | 4 September, 2013 | 5:58 pm

THE HAGUE – A week has proven to be a long time in international politics. On Aug. 26, arriving in Europe, NATO military strikes on Syria seemed both inevitable and imminent to punish it for alleged chemical weapons use on Aug. 21. On Thursday, the British Parliament rejected, by a 285-272 vote, the government motion that would have paved the way for British participation. Prime Minister David Cameron said he would respect the vote. By Friday, the United States was looking decidedly lonely and exposed in its hard-line stance that military attacks were still necessary and could be launched without …

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Once again, US rushing to attack without facts

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 2 September, 2013 | 5:48 pm


Ramesh Thakur, “Once again, U.S. rushing to attack without facts”

The Japan Times, Friday, 30 August 2013

CANBERRA – You could not make this up. On Aug. 26, the Western media concluded that some form of military action against Syria by the United States, United Kingdom and France was inevitable. The same day, a Foreign Policy article argued that CIA files prove the U.S. knowingly helped Saddam Hussein use chemical weapons against Iran in 1988 with intelligence on Iranian troop formations, location and movements. And they wonder why the rest of the world becomes yearly more cynical about Western …

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Sue Wareham on Syria

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 29 August, 2013 | 5:47 pm

The following letter by Dr Sue Wareham, Vice-President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW), and Secretary, Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry, was published in The Canberra Times, Saturday 31 August 2013.

Original may be viewed at Canberra Times letters for that day.

Those calling for the bombing of Syria as punishment for the use of chemical weapons in the country seem to think that Western missiles will make the place safer for its millions of civilians. Talk of brief military interventions, before weapons inspectors get a chance to report, sends chilling reminders of how leaders lied and rushed …

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Statement on Syria

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 29 August, 2013 | 5:45 pm

The Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry said today that any use of chemical weapons, in Syria or elsewhere, is totally unacceptable. Allegations of their recent use in Syria can and must be investigated through the UN Secretary General’s office, in co-operation with the World Health Organisation in Geneva, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.

National intelligence assessments are not a sufficient condition for military strikes on Syria to proceed in a way that would be justified under international law. We would condemn, in the strongest terms, the breaking of international law governing the …

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Responsibly protecting Syrians

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 28 August, 2013 | 5:43 pm

Contribution by CIWI member NAJ Taylor

Allegations that chemical weapons have been deployed against civilians in Syria are troublesome and, if true, are abhorrent. But what facts have been established? What details are as yet unknown? And are calls for some form of military intervention warranted in the current situation? These are the questions that should and must be asked. But already the ground has been cleared such that speculation (on all sides) has become fact, and expert opinion derided as pure fantasy. There’s a need to look more closely at these truth claims so as to reveal something altogether …

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War Powers: Why not Parliamentary control?

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 28 August, 2013 | 5:41 pm

In Feelings of déjà vu I noted that we were once again in a position where the US is poised to undertake a military strike without awaiting the report of the UN weapons inspectors and without UN authority.

Meanwhile, in Australia the nature and extent of our involvement, if any, will be in the hands of just three men – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Foreign Minister Bob Carr, and Minister for Defence Materiel Mike Kelly, tipped to be Defence Minister in the event of an ALP victory on 7 September. As two of these gents are appointed on the recommendation …

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Feelings of déjà vu

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 28 August, 2013 | 5:39 pm

Events over the last 24 hours, in addition to eliciting that feeling of déjà vu, validate Iraq War Inquiry Group’s core positions in a most dramatic way.

Here we go again; the US is poised to undertake a military strike against Syria, and does not feel it needs to await the report of the UN weapons inspectors because, as John Kerry puts it, we can rely on our conscience and common sense. It will be without UN authority, but US/UK leaders insist it will be legal. It will be limited and proportionate, says David Cameron – aren’t they all? It …

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Reply from ALP National Secretariat

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 27 August, 2013 | 5:37 pm

We have today received from the National Secretariat of the Australian Labor Party a reply to our letter of 13 August 2013 to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The full text is below:


23 August 2013

Mr Paul Barratt

President Iraq War Inquiry Group Inc

Suite 406, 1 Queens Road

Melbourne Vic 3004

Dear Mr Barratt

Thank you for your letter of 13 August regarding the Federal Labor Party’s policy on Iraq. As you know, the Howard Government’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was not supported by the Federal Labor Party in Opposition. That is why …

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