Pilger on Gatsby and Iraq

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 27 May, 2013 | 4:33 pm

In today’s online edition of The Guardian, Australian journalist John Pilger surveys the mess that is contemporary Iraq, under the headlines

We’ve moved on from the Iraq war – but Iraqis don’t have that choice

Like characters from The Great Gatsby, Britain and the US

have arrogantly turned their backs and left a country in ruins

After surveying the horrendous spike in cancer cases and birth defects which local doctors and World Health Organisation researchers attribute to the use by US and UK forces of over 300 tonnes of depleted uranium (a metal which is highly toxic aside from its …

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Substitute question marks for exclamation marks

By: Ramesh Thakur | Posted in: Blog | 22 May, 2013 | 4:27 pm

CANBERRA – A terrible tragedy is unfolding in (fill in the name of your favorite trouble spot). Something must be done. This (choose from sending troops, air strikes, enforcing a no fly zone, arming rebels) is something. Therefore it must be done.

Such is what passes for much of policy advice by some analysts, many unembarrassed by their dismal record on Iraq 10 years ago. The latest trouble spot of choice for their penetrating insights is Syria. And the latest development to have heightened their excitability is claims of chemical weapons — sarin, a banned nerve gas — having been …

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A question of accountability as HMAS Sydney joins USN Carrier Strike Group

By: Richard Tanter | Posted in: Blog | 20 May, 2013 | 4:21 pm

As we know from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, many ADF personnel have been embedded in US military forces, serving alongside US military personnel, often in war zones. The most recent example concerns the insertion of the RAN guided missile frigate HMAS Sydney into the United States Navy’s Seventh Fleet, home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. The Sydney will become part of the protective screen for the core of the fleet the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73), and operate as a part of the Washington’s Carrier Strike Group.

The question arises of the legal status of the Sydney as …

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Iraq: a war widow’s view

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 28 April, 2013 | 4:07 pm

On Saturday 27 April The Canberra Times published an opinion piece by Kellie Merritt, an Iraq war widow, social worker and mother. Her husband Flight Lieutenant Paul Pardoel was an Australian navigator who served with the RAAF for 15 years, before transferring to the RAF in 2002. Paul was killed with nine other British service members when their Hercules was shot down in Iraq on January 30, 2005.

It is a powerful and thoughtful piece with some important reflections on the responsibilities of governments contemplating deploying their armed forces into international armed conflict.

What price humanitarian war?

Justification for war

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Robert O’Neill on lessons not yet learned

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 26 April, 2013 | 4:04 pm

 

Today’s edition of The Australian carried a piece by defence writer Brendan Nicholson summarising the views of distinguished military historian Robert O’Neill AO, Chair of the International Academic Advisory Committee at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, as presented in a chapter he contributed to Gallipoli: A Ridge Too Far, edited by Ashley Ekins of the Australian War Memorial.

The text follows:

Lessons from history not learned by politicians

Brendan Nicholson

THE confused thinking behind the disastrous Gallipoli campaign persists a century later and was evident in the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Robert …

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Crowd-sourcing our public affairs campaign

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 15 April, 2013 | 4:03 pm

 

Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry (ABRN 162 022 979) is seeking donations from the general public to support the implementation of its media strategy in pursuit of the following objectives:

  • To campaign for an inquiry into the steps which led to Australia participating in the invasion of Iraq, for the purposes of identifying the lessons to be learned and of developing better procedures for the future.
  • To promote public awareness of the procedures required by current law for the deployment of the Australian Defence Force into international armed conflicts, and of the risks involved in the current arrangements.
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    Iraq invasion, Iraq War, John Howard, War Powers

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 14 April, 2013 | 4:02 pm

    This morning Sunday 13 April 2013 CIWI President Paul Barratt participated in a panel discussion on the ABC Radio National program “Outsiders”, a segment of its morning current affairs program Sunday Extra.

    The host was Jonathan Green, and the other participants were:

    – Trisha Jha, active student feminist and past candidate for the Liberal Democratic Party in the ACT

    – Nick Feik, Chief Executive of The Monthly’s SlowTV.

    Our subjects were

    – Former Prime Minister John Howard’s recent address to the Lowy Institute about his Government’s decision to participate in the 2003 invasion of Iraq

    – The recently announced to …

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    Iraq: Former official nails Howard

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 12 April, 2013 | 4:01 pm

    “The belief that Saddam had WMDs was near universal” said former Prime Minister John Howard when he addressed the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney on 9 April 2013.

    He neglected to mention that, to the extent that this belief was widespread, it was the result of an enormous effort on the part of the George W. Bush Administration and Tony Blair’s Government in the UK to persuade the world that this was so. Most of us are not in a position to make an independent assessment, and we assumed that we were hearing from reputable people.

    He also …

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    Paul Barratt on the Iraq Invasion, March 2003

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 27 March, 2013 | 3:59 pm

     

    From the dwindling number of people who still think that the March 2003 invasion of Iraq was a good idea, there is beginning to emerge a self-justifying little spin line that the critics of the war are taking advantage of “20/20 hindsight”. Mainstream media outlets that are either lazy or happy to excuse their failings in relation to their own analysis and reportage are more than willing, as they have been for more than a decade, to facilitate this approach to exculpation.

    So in the interests of getting my own position on the record (again), I reproduce below the …

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    David Kilcullen on the US habit of going to war

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 26 March, 2013 | 3:58 pm

    The following is an extract of a conversation between ABC presenter Kerry O’Brien and Australian military strategist David Kilcullen, broadcast on the ABC program Four Corners, on the evening of Monday 25 March. Like the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry, Kilcullen thinks we should think very carefully before we follow the US into a new war:

    KERRY O’BRIEN: Just listening to you talk then about Karzai’s – the position that Karzai was put in essentially by Western forces, had just another eerie echo to me of Vietnam – almost an exact replica of Vietnam despite the fact that so …

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