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:

Begins

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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Letter to The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 26 August, 2013 | 5:36 pm

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP Leader of the Opposition Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Mr Abbott I refer to my letter of 13 August seeking, on behalf of the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry, to ascertain the Liberal Party’s policy in the context of the current Federal Election campaign on several matters which are of central importance to our membership.

The latest developments in Syria, which have led once again to a situation in which we are awaiting for a definitive report from UN weapons inspectors while our major ally contemplates whether to intervene militarily, only serves to …

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Letter to The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 26 August, 2013 | 5:33 pm

The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP c/- ALP National Secretariat Unit 5, 9 Sydney Avenue BARTON ACT 2600

Dear Mr Rudd

I refer to my letter of 13 August 2013 seeking, on behalf of the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry, to ascertain the Australian Labor Party’s policy in the context of the current Federal Election campaign on several matters which are of central importance to our membership.

In that connection, I write to commend the comments attributed to you in today’s edition of The Age, connection with recent developments in Syria, to the effect that we need to be mindful …

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Max Walsh on our Presidential political style

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 22 August, 2013 | 5:32 pm

Veteran political journalist Maximilian Walsh, commenting on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme that is all his own work and causing much angst within the Liberal Party, says in today’s Australian Financial Review (see here) that the increasingly presidential style of Australia’s leaders has changed the balance of power between the Prime Minister and the Government, allowing them to present policy to the cabinet as a fait accompli.

He is absolutely right, as we saw in the case of the decision to join in the invasion of Iraq. This is one of the many important reasons why …

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Selling the Iraq War

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 21 August, 2013 | 5:30 pm

In the course of reading and research for a paper I am writing in relation to the process by which Australia made the decision to participate in the Iraq War, I came upon an interesting paper by Chaim Kaufmann of Lehigh University, published in the MIT Belfer Centre’s prestigious journal International Security in 2004. It is a solid read but well repays the effort. Its central thesis is that in the case of the Iraq War, and perhaps more generally, the democratic “marketplace of ideas” failed to deal with “threat inflation” and manipulation of public opinion on the part of …

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Letter to The Hon. Warren Truss MP

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 13 August, 2013 | 5:28 pm

Dear Mr Truss

I write to you on behalf of the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry to ascertain The Nationals’ policy in the context of the current Federal Election campaign on several matters which are of central importance to our membership.

Our members and supporters would be interested to know your answers to the following questions:

  • Do you believe the Prime Minister should continue to have the authority to take Australia to war on her/his own?
  • Would you support a new bill requiring parliamentary debate and approval before the Australian Defence Force is deployed in overseas combat operations?
  • Do
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