Here we go again: Tony Abbott’s Iraq adventure

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 11 February, 2015 | 2:21 am

The following is the text of a presentation by CIWI President Paul Barratt to the Sydney Chapter of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, on the evening of Tuesday 10 February 2015.


Here we go again.

Australia is once more embarked upon military operations in the Middle East, again at the behest of the United States, and again without a clear definition of what the aims are or what we might hope to achieve.

Australia’s stance in relation to this conflict shifted so rapidly – from air-dropping humanitarian supplies to delivering arms and then positioning Special Forces on the …

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Are we again on the brink of further “Mission Creep” in Iraq?

By: Andrew Farran | Posted in: Blog | 22 January, 2015 | 2:19 am

In his 2015 State of the Union address President Obama noted that Iraq War No 3 (not his term) “will take time”, meaning there is no end in sight. But what is it that  will take time? What would be its end? Does anyone have any realistic idea about that given that a militant cancer is spreading throughout the Middle East?

The US has recently committed a further 3,000 troops to Iraq though officially their ‘combat roles’ are confined to air strikes in Iraq and Syria. It is not hard to envisage that before the US can reduce troop levels …

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A world of no-go zones?

By: Alison Broinowski | Posted in: Blog | 22 January, 2015 | 2:18 am

As the population of our ‘global village’ grows to more than 7.22 billion and mega-cities multiply, the world’s wilderness withers, agricultural land shrinks, oceans become waste dumping grounds, and former industrial sites are reduced to polluted, decaying wastelands. The climate warms and sea levels rise. Humans have rendered many areas in the world no longer accessible for humans.

These areas are ‘no-go zones’, as the lawless streets of Boston were known in the 1980s. The same term applied to Redfern’s Block in the 1990s and parts of Birmingham in the noughties. It is true of Ferguson in the mid-2010s, and …

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The latest Bulletin from the Campaign is now available!

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 14 November, 2014 | 2:17 am

Read the latest news on the Australian troops in Iraq, the views of Dr Alison Broinowski particularly around the Status of Forces agreements, a call for an inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War by war widow Kellie Merritt, articles from a number of people on views on how to take action without committing to warfare, and much more.

If you are not subscribed to the CIWI regular Bulletin newsletter, please do so here.…

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Letter re Status of Forces

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 20 October, 2014 | 2:16 am

Below is the text of a letter sent to the Prime Minister on 9 October 2014. Similar letters were sent to the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister.


9 October 2014

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP Prime Minister Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Mr Abbott

The Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry has repeatedly expressed concern about the manner in which Australia entered the war in Iraq in 2003. Our organisation is equally concerned about the present situation, and the fact that errors of the past are seemingly being repeated.

We and our members are particularly anxious that …

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Letter to Members of Parliament

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 16 October, 2014 | 2:14 am

Below is the text of a letter sent to all Members of Federal Parliament on 9 October 2014.


Dear MP [ personalised ]

Your response is sought on whether Parliament should be required to authorise any deployment of the ADF into armed conflict abroad.

The Australian Government has recently authorised the deployment to the Middle East of six FA/18 combat aircraft, a Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker, and 200 SAS soldiers who will serve not only in training and advisory roles, but also in forward targeting missions. This comes despite much concern …

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Parliament should decide on the deployment of armed force

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 3 September, 2014 | 2:11 am

Malcolm Fraser and Paul Barratt

In “Parliamentary Vote Would Dangerously Restrict Executive in War” (The Australian, 2 September) Russell Trood and Anthony Bergin assert that the idea of Parliament voting on decisions to go to war is poor public policy. None of the arguments they advance in support of this claim hold water.

The point is made that Governments need the capacity to react quickly to events. Quite so, but the occasions would be rare when the capacity of the ADF to deploy would be held up by Parliamentary process. Apart from the Ready Reaction Force at Townsville, most combat …

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Letter to the Attorney-General

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 5 July, 2014 | 2:10 am

In Reply on behalf of the Attorney-General I presented the text of a letter of 18 June received from Mr Paul O’Sullivan, Chief of Staff to the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC.

Below is the text of my reply:


4 July 2014

Senator the Hon. George Brandis, QC Attorney-General Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Senator Brandis,

I refer to a letter of 18 June 2014 I have received from Mr Paul O’Sullivan, your Chief of Staff, writing on your behalf in response to my letter to you of 16 May.

In his letter Mr O’Sullivan states …

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Ramesh Thakur on the Chutzpah of the Iraq War Neocons and Fellow Travellers

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 25 June, 2014 | 2:02 am

On 25 June 2014 Professor Ramesh Thakur of the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy contributed a piece on the above subject to the Australian Institute of International Affairs’ online journal Australian Outlook.

He begins:

Two years ago, Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu condemned the ‘immorality’ of the Iraq invasion: ‘in a consistent world, those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague’. Like the …

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Another intervention in Iraq?

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 15 June, 2014 | 2:02 am

The Prime Minister is expressing a willingness to have elements of the Australian Defence Force join with the United States in another intervention in Iraq – notwithstanding that neither the shape of that intervention nor its objective is known.

We would argue that the fact that we are considering going back into Iraq makes it all the more obvious that we need to learn the lessons from the previous invasion, the disastrous nature of which is not only almost universally acknowledged but demonstrated by the fact that some claim a need to go back in.

There should be no further …

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