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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Being cyncial « Previous | |Next »
January 31, 2003

THe war with Iraq is not popular in Australia without a UN mandate. There is widespread opposition to going it alone with the US and Britain, even though many Australians would like to see Saddam Hussein 'taken out' and Iraq become a democracy.

And John Howard has not made the case for Australia's involvement in terms of Australia's strategic interests. The case that has been made is that we are going to war to protect 'international security' because Australia is a close friend and ally of the US.

In what way are Australia's strategic interests threatened by Iraq? How are they threatened by Iraq's attacks on Iran and Kuwait, or Iraq posing a threat to Israel? Or Iraq being a destablising influence in the Middle East? Iraq is not a credible threat to the US let alone Australia. Does there not have to be a threat of some sort to justify a pre-emptive military invasion in the name of anticipatory self-defense?

In case you missed it this article by Scott Burchill, goes through the various justifying arguments for war.

The case for war is not made by Howard, we go to war, the hawks continue to call the critics of war appeasers and pax America becomes the new global reality.

The domestic disquiet remains. Howard then porkbarrels as he did in the last election to retain his hand on the levers of power. Little is said about sound economic management ---balancing the books or running a budget surplus---being overruled by clever political strategy based on running a fiscal deficit in a flat economy.

What the heck, lets spend up big and save the Murray while we have the chance. The moment may not come again. Lets defend the decision in the name of national security and call the critics of porkbarrelling defeatists, who are selling out the national interest for a strong and resilent agriculture.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:04 AM | | Comments (4)


What do you make of Senator Bob Brown's backflip about Telstra- he said at first he'd favour selling the rest of Telstra if the proceeds were spent mostly on fixing the Murray, but then he was told by his party, 'No that is not acceptable'.

Would you favour such an arrangement?

Its called democracy. Some political parties try to be democratic. It does not make for an easy life--eg the Australian Democrats.

Heh- thats where leadership comes in.

Be that as it may, would you favor that arrangement. Democracy also is about having a voice.

That's why we blog, I guess.

Scott, As the Australian Democrats discovered during the GST days, it is very hard to strike the right balance between the parliamentary, organizational wings and giving local members a voice.