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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Iraq: An ex-serviceman’s view

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 7 February, 2013 | 3:57 pm

We have received the following communication by email from Stephen Kelcoyne-Lawrence, a former officer of the Royal Australian Navy who lives in Tasmania, and publish it with his permission:

As an ex-Naval Officer who was serving at the time, I would fully subscribe to & support an Inquiry into the Iraq War; the circumstances leading up to it; Howard’s decision to send us to war in defiance of 80% of the population at the time (under what we all knew then were blatantly false pretences). I believe that terms of reference for such an Inquiry should also encompass: Philip Ruddock’s …

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Funding request to our supporters

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 4 February, 2013 | 3:55 pm

Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry (CIWI – formally IWIG)

ARBN 162 022 979

Suite 406, 1 Queens Road

Melbourne Vic 3004

4 February 2013 Dear Supporters and Friends,

Now that our incorporation formalities have been completed, the Campaign needs to move on and make itself felt.

March will mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the 2003 Iraq War – i.e. the US, UK, Australian led invasion. We know of the enormous death toll it caused, and the irreparable damage to property and lives suffered (and still being suffered), as was predicted before the war. After all this …

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ASIC Registration complete

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 21 January, 2013 | 3:53 pm

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has today approved our registration as an Australian Registrable Body, which means we now have official recognition as an incorporated entity with authority to operate throughout Australia and its Territories.

Our ARBN is 162 022 979.…

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Sanctions do more harm than good

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 11 January, 2013 | 3:51 pm


Article by CIWI Member Ramesh Thakur, published in

The Australian

January 4, 2012

(Access published article here)

SANCTIONS became popular as a bridge between diplomacy and force for ensuring compliance with UN demands, yet their track record in ensuring compliance is pitiful. They inflict pain on citizens while imposing questionable costs on leaders.

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan acknowledged that “humanitarian and human rights policy goals cannot easily be reconciled with those of a sanctions regime”. Sanctions all too often are a poor alibi for, not a sound supplement to, a good foreign policy. They are ineffective, counterproductive, …

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Australia strengthening sanctions against Iran

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 11 January, 2013 | 3:39 pm

Comment by Paul Barratt

It is ironic that, as announced in this morning’s edition of The Age (see here), the world champion payer of kick-backs to Saddam Hussein now has “key responsibility” for enforcing sanctions against Iran – the “crippling sanctions” which Hillary Clinton in particular has been so keen to see from the moment she became Secretary of State.

This development causes me considerable sadness because during the early years of the Islamic Revolution and into the 1980s I was involved as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Trade, reporting to a very strong Minister (and Deputy Prime …

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AUSTRALIA’S VIRTUAL VIETNAM: The importance of 17 December 1964

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 19 December, 2012 | 10:33 am

The decision to send troops into battle on alien terrain is usually said to be the most serious a government can make. Politicians do not deny it. The only exception I know is Sir Robert Menzies, who said of the Vietnam War in an oral history for the (President) Lyndon Baines Johnson library in 1969 that ‘it did not take five minutes to decide that when it came to the point of action we would be in it’[i]. The whole meeting would have taken about ten minutes.

The Vietnam War was our costliest defeat. The decision in principle …

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Late Night Live

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 7 December, 2012 | 10:53 am

On the evening of Tuesday 4 December 2012 Paul Barratt discussed the aims of the Iraq War Inquiry Group, and the background to its establishment, with renowned commentator Phillip Adams on his signature program Late Night Live, on ABC Radio National.

Access a podcast of the discussion here.

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Moves to codify US drone policy

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 28 November, 2012 | 11:14 am

The New York Times 24 November 2012 reports that with more than 300 drone strikes and some 2,500 people killed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military since President Obama first took office, the administration is now pushing to make the rules formal and resolve internal uncertainty and disagreement about exactly when lethal action is justified.

NYT  reports:

Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether remote-control killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the United States, or a more flexible tool, available to help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent …

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