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

misleading the nation into war. « Previous | |Next »
June 11, 2003

This article by Paul Krugman in the New York Times says it simply and well. It is increasing looking as if citizens in the US, the UK and Australia were mislead about the reasons for going to war with Iraq. No smoking gun, no links between Iraq and Al Qaeda, no connection between Iraq and September 11. No threat.

President Bush may be continuing to talk in terms of absolutes but the selling of the war with Iraq by these governments was dishonest and they should be accountable for that dishonesty. What the Howard Government does is attack the public broadcaster for questioning its spin on its AM prgrams in an attempt to marginalise or displace dissent.

It is the job of the Senate to make the Howard Government accountable for its dishonesty.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:07 AM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

Thanks you for your thought provoking posts.

The Guardian link brought to mind the notion of "groupthink". The following quote from the article could serve as the definition:

"As President George Bush was forced for the second time in days to defend the decision to go to war, a new set of leaks from CIA officials suggested a tendency in the White House to suppress or ignore intelligence findings which did not shore up the case for war."

Although something should be added about the process of group conformity. As I recall President Nixon, and other presidents, but the awareness of the danger of the process is somewhat out of fashion, apparently not least in the Australian Cabinet, deliberately choose at least one independent-minded member.

Bishop Frame's article makes the point, that possibilly our service people were engaged in killing innocent people in pursuing an unjust war. They do so in my name, and all of us, and I for one take exception that action.

One further point, in relation to the Senate, the Government must be accountable to the House of Representatives. If is it not the case, here is a significant problem for democracy (and I do not attribute this failure only to the Howard Government). On any judgement this lack of parliamentary accountantability is a more important issue than alleged, or even demonstrated, bias in ABC news commentary.

My apologies for any blues in the above. Time is presssing

The sound of the Iraqi people begging for the return of Saddam is growing ever louder!

Ian,
I concur. The lack of Parliamentary accountability is a big problem. It is also one that is continually avoided by out politicians. They say that we have to continually reform our practices but they do nothing about reforming their own to deepen our federal democracy.

Yobbo,
The issue here is not about Saddam Hussein's oppression of the Iraqi people.

I have never argued that this did not happen nor deny that this was a bad thing.

The issue here is about the accountability of the dominant executive to the Parliament; ie it is about what happens inside Australian democracy.

And as Ian points out it is not just about the Howard Government. The finger can equally be pointed at the Labor Party when it is in power.