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Selling the Iraqi's short « Previous | |Next »
June 30, 2003

One of the justifications for the Iraqi war was the liberation argument. Remember? Australia is helping the US and the UK to liberate the Iraqi people from an oppressive dictatorship and to bring democracy to the Middle East. So said John Howard as the troops returned home from Iraq.

It is this justification that is currently being used today, as the WMD argument falls into disrepute. Intervention in Iraq was a justified war, it is said. Just look at the mass graves continually being dug up. Saddam was one evil guy. We did a good thing.

The argument that public opinion made against this liberation justification --was that the Coalition of the Willing would become an occupying force in Iraq, and they would end up selling the Iraqi's short on democracy. It would not allow the majority Shi'ite population to establish their own kind of Islamic state. The Iraqi's would then want the US/UK out of their country. Future history would repeat the past history of the British occupation of Iraq in the first part of the 20th century.

Sad to say this looks to be happening. We have this search and destroy. And judging by this report democracy is going to be a long time coming.

It is more than the lack of a coherent postwar plan for reconstituting Iraq politically, and just making it up as the US went along. Judging by this report about the US building two giant intelligence facilities in Iraq at a cost of some half a billion dollars, it is Washington’s intention to retain a large US military presence in Iraq in the long term, for a decade at least.

Of course, this occupation argument cuts no ice for the Howard Government. Liberation simply meant ousting the tyrant in Iraq. Liberation had nothing to do with restoring Iraq country--- bringing it back to health and keeping the people free. Australia washed it's hands of the real challenge of rebuilding the country. It's a case of all care taken, no responsibility accepted, as Shaun Casey points out.

The Howard Government basically accepts that the US can do what it likes in Iraq and the Middle East. We are friends and allies of the US after all. There will be no criticism of the US occupation of Iraq coming from Australia. US foreign policy there is Australia's foreign policy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:09 AM | | Comments (0)