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March 21, 2004

Sunday Cartoon

I'm on the road again. I have to catch a plane in a few hours. All the streets will be jammed from the crazy car race that turns petrol heads into a lethal missiles on the roads. The circus also brings out the desire of racegoers to see carnage on the track. The spectacle makes for good television.


I do not speak Arabic. So I'm not sure what the words say. Tears for innocent lives lost?

You could say that the unity of Coalition of the Willing is fraying at the edges as tensions increase between"old and valued friends" due to them being taken for a ride. Iraq posed no significant threat.

The legitimacy of the occupation of Iraq is also fraying. It's good that Saddam has gone, but the Iraqi's want their country back. Hence the civil disorder within Iraq.

When will the United Nations be bought in to fix things up?

What is clear is that the war on terrorism is different from the invasion of Iraq. The latter was a turning into another pathway, but it now has the consequence of fueling international terrorism.

Two quick comments. One by Robert Manne writing in The Age on the Keelty affair:

"The political purpose of Howard's silencing of Keelty is clear. By dragging the Police Commissioner into line, Coalition party members, senior public servants, members of the defence forces and the intelligence services were all taught a salutary lesson. Talk of Iraq and domestic terrorism is now forbidden. The attack on Keelty was, then, not so much an uncharacteristic stumble as a hastily improvised pre-emptive strike."

And the other comment is by Paul McGeough writing in The Sydney Morning Herald about Iraq:

".....something....fundamental is happening, something very democratic: leaders are being held to account, because the Bush case for war in Iraq has been proved to be a lie that was supported by Blair and Howard.

We were told the war was to get rid of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction - they did not exist. It was to save us from the link between Saddam and al-Qaeda - there was none. This was to be a quick war - the soldiers were to be welcomed with songs and flowers, but they will be stuck here for years to come and it might be a civil war that gives birth to the new Iraq - not Bush's liberation."

Paul says that the brutalised people of Iraq are indeed grateful to be rid of Saddam. But they loathe this occupation, are deeply resent the security crisis it has visited on them, and they feel humiliated by it. And they openly mock the superpower that said: "It'll all come right."

Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at March 21, 2004 02:35 PM

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Dear Aussies:

Here in the States, we are wondering what we have wrought. Many of us understand fully the Spanish decision to pull out of the war. Seems we may have bit off more than we can chew in our proud and typical way. We were promised that this would be "no Vietnam" but those promises are already looking empty.

While we may disagree with our administration, there is still deep-rooted support for the men and women who remain there. I have a brother-in-law in Iraq and would love to see him return home, the sooner the better. In the meantime, I will watch carefully the words and intentions of the candidates for President and will selfishly support the one who can return (or says he will return) a sense of normalcy to my country, if such a thing is even possible in this day and age.

We know how we are viewed overseas these days and we can't blame you. It is tough to be a citizen of the reviled Empire that was once a revered Republic.

There exists here a large contingent of citizens who wish we could again be thought of on the world stage as friends, but we understand why that may be impossible for many countries, even former allies and daughters of Mother England.

I appreciate sites like this, that seek to discuss the issues without casting stones at America as a whole. You have plenty to despise. From our omnipresent culture to our economic dominance globally, we know who we are and what we are doing as our giant footprints continue to make marks on other cultures and countries. Please continue in your rational and reasoned efforts to bring about change through dialog and in the electing of leaders who will work for peace and fairness on this increasingly tiny planet.

Al the best from your friends in America.

Posted by: Dave at March 22, 2004 11:30 AM

Good on you Dave

if only more Americans like you were involved in decisionmaking processes...

Posted by: Glenn Condell at March 22, 2004 12:54 PM

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