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In the national interest « Previous | |Next »
March 12, 2003

We have argued against Australia going to war with Iraq as part of the US posse on the grounds that it is not in our national interest to do so. This argument has never been much credence, or given much of a hearing, let alone engaged with. What we get from the neo-cons is the charge, and ocassionally the argument, that those who oppose going to war with Iraq are anti-American or peaceniks.

So it is good to see the national interest case being argued in the national press. John Hewson, the former Liberal Party leader, has done just this in the Financial Review (subscription required, Friday 7 March, 2003, p. 82) He says:

"Saddam Hussein needs to be stopped, But leave George Dubya and a handful of his other deputies to do it, and only with United Nation's sanction. This is not our war. This is not one where Australian lives should be sacrificed, nor our diplomatic efforts concentrated."
Hewson goes onto to argue that:

'Surely, ensuring a sensible outcome on North Korea ---that is, avoiding a potential Asian disaster---is much more in our "national interest."'

Hewson has become so sensitive to the abuse of national interest under the Howard Government that he sees it similar to 'patriotism, as the last refuge of ihe scoundrel.' Dumping national self-interest leaves you nowwhere to go. Nation-states do have interests that affect them deeply in a world of nations. It woudl not be in Australia's interests to have Papua New Guinea collapse and disintegrate; or for Indonesia to become a militant Islamic state.

National interest is too good a word to let go.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:11 PM | | Comments (5)


I get the feeling howard is only interested in cricket and everything else is just cardigan stuffing to kill time between test matches, he is very good at killing time

.... and opponents.

So,first he gets some advice from Keating on how he should abandon Iraq and concentrate on building relationships in Asia. You know, all those "recalcitrant" chaps.

Now he gets some more advice from an expert on taxation reform.

It's enough to drive any statesman back to the cricket but alas, he's a little busy saving the world right now.


Why offering advice rather than engaging in an ongoing public debate?

Alright, I know, I've been bad, these are serious times.

Pretty serious for John if Blair goes under. He'll have a lot more time on his hands to watch the cricket then.

Hope he's got something like my exit strategy ready in the bottom drawer.I doubt it though,my style's too much crash through or crash for his liking.