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tragic, flawed and false « Previous | |Next »
March 27, 2003

Tragic, flawed and false. Thats how Richard Woolcott, the former secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, describes Australia's Iraq war policy when having lunch with Maxine McKew from The Bulletin (no link). It is a tragic culmination of a flawed policy based on false assumptions.

The false assumption is that Iraq presents some sort of threat to Australia. "Absolute nonsense", says Woolcott, "Iraq has been perfectly contained for over a decade."

The policy is flawed because the pro-Washington stance is destructive. Howard has decided to go with the strength. Though Australia needs to have a good relationship between Canberra and Washington, under Howard's watch Australia is seen to be "too dependable, too predictable, too uncritical", and so Australia will "be taken for granted." Howard's many deceptions around the war with Iraq indictes that we have reached "the point where Australia is a complete hostage to Bush's fortunes."

It is tragic because Australia's involvement in the war with Iraq is not worth one Australian life.

This policy is "damaging Australia's image and interests." Why?

"We have got ourselves involved in an unnecessary war. War with Iraq is not in our national interest. And what ever happens, we will bear the scars for a long time for having participated in what is an act of aggression. This is the first time for Australia. We are the invaders"

Australia, by being part of the Anglo-American war machine, has reinforced its image "as an Anglo-American outpost in the South Pacific."

We have gone back full circle to the time of Harold Holt and "All the Way with LBJ". In going circle we have dumped the pursuit of an independent foreign policy within the framework of the American alliance. "The perception in the wider world is that we're closer to the US than we've been since the early days of the Vietnam War."

That's what Richard Woolcott said at lunch with Maxine at Wildfire at Sydney's West Circular Quay.

Woolcott expresses the position of the weblog very succinctly.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:57 PM | | Comments (2)


Woolcott on RN the other day was also careful to neatly describe the gooey Howard Bush relationship as between like minded administrations, rather than like minded democracies. Howard isn't Australia, and Bush isn't America.

'Like-minded administrations, not democracies' - that's a good line.