Iraq war, what was it good for? Absolutely nothing

Chris Smith (Letters, August 21) asks why we still need to question why we went to war to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

If the reasons for the invasion were those he lists in his letter – not the threat of Saddam’s ”weapons of mass destruction” – then the answer to his question is obvious: how can the leaders of the US, Britain and Australia take their citizens to war on a lie, destroy a country, kill tens of thousands and lose thousands of their own and depart office without suffering so much as a rebuke from the institutions (parliament, judiciary and even the intelligence establishment) whose principles they traduced.

They’ve dispensed with truth, justice, honour and the rule of law and got away with it. And if they have got away with it, you can bet that we’ll be gulled again.

Bronis Dudek, Calwell

Howl of the fat cats

In the past few weeks we have heard many high ranking corporate bosses ”forgoing their bonuses”. What a travesty to the language. Bonuses are something we win for best performance not something we give up for bad performance. What would the community, media and, indeed, corporate leaders say if an Olympic finalist after coming last in their event claimed, ”I will forgo the gold or silver this time”, rather than, ”I was not good enough on the day to deserve a medal”?

Such Orwellian language can only be aimed at manipulating shareholders into the double-think that bonuses are a legitimate part of a corporate leader’s pay packet, something that only the bosses can give up rather than something they have to earn. It is time for boards of directors, financial commentators and the media to stand against this perversion of words.

Denis Waters, Nicholls

Not so good for fans

Well played, Australian Rugby League Commission! You’ve managed the old ”steady as she goes” in terms of TV coverage. That is: three free-to-air games a week, only one of which is live. You’ve regressed to a grand final starting time of 7.30pm or 8pm. And you’ve managed to gouge heaps more out of Channel Nine and Foxtel for the status quo. Great news for players, and good luck to them.

But are rugby league fans supposed to be doing cartwheels over this deal? No wonder Nine’s boss David Gyngell, said he would never do a deal with you again. David Gallop, I know you will do wonders for soccer.

Greg Simmons, Lyons

Different strokes

In vilifying Jon Stanhope’s public art program, Derek Smith (Letters, August 21) gives the impression he’s a real cultural dinosaur. Sadly, he fails to grasp a couple of essential points about public art.

First, if he had travelled to other places (or kept his eyes open if he has) he would see public art everywhere, especially in places like Spain. Some of it is centuries old; other examples are quite new. Second, not everyone will like every piece of art as it’s very subjective. But the most important thing is it that public art says something positive and visible about a city’s cultural identity.

I have not always agreed with Stanhope, but I applaud his decision to enliven the capital with art. I don’t like all of it, but I love that it is there.

I wonder what Smith’s reaction would be if Michelangelo was still around and he offered to do a sculpture somewhere in Civic. Would he still decry the idea?

Eric Hunter, Cook

by AWPR

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