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Iraq: reverberations « Previous | |Next »
August 8, 2004

I haven't posted on Iraq in a while. It's been too depressing. The insurgency continues.

Recently the US Marines have taken on the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf. It would appear that the provisonal/caretaker Allawi government (including the Najaf governor Adnan Al-Zurufi) decided to fight Muqtada and the Mahdi Army to the bitter end.

Hassan Bleibel, Allawi; Everything is under control,7/29/04

Calling the insurgents "anti-Iraqi forces" overlooks the situation that the fighters are Iraqis, who are carrying the frustrations of the majority of their impoverished country folk.

9th August
This issue is now reverberating in Australia with a former senior Australian military and diplomatic officers expressing concern at the way Australia became involved in Iraq.

The letter makes a distinction between the different issues of intervention into Iraq, where the justification was wrong, and the US alliance, where popular support remains very strong. On the former issue the letter says that elected government's:

"...must give priority to truth in government. This is fundamental to effective parliamentary democracy. Australians must be able to believe they are being told the truth by our leaders especially in situations as grave as committing our forces to war."

Though the statement emphasis truth in government as fundamental to democracy, but it does not mention ministerial accountability, the politicization of the bureaucracy, the displacement of the culture of frank and fearless advice, and ministers hiding behind their staff.

On the second issue the letter says:

"We do not wish to see Australia's alliance withe the US endangered. We understand that it can never be an alliance of complete equals because of the disparity in power, but to suggest that an ally is not free to choose if or when it will go to war is to misread the ANZUS alliance. Within that context, Australian governments should seek to ensure that it is genuine partnership and not just a rubber stamp for policies decided in Washington."

This statement is an indictment, which places the Coalition on the backfoot on national security. This issue has been its electoral strength.

August 11
It just keeps on getting worse in Iraq.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:01 PM | | Comments (0)