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confirmation « Previous | |Next »
October 7, 2004

The news reports are carrying a story saying that the top US arms inspector has reported that he found no evidence that Iraq produced any weapons of mass destruction after 1991. Saddam Hussein's weapons capability was weakened during a dozen years of UN sanctions before the US invasion in 2003; Saddam did not have chemical and biological stockpiles when the war began; and his nuclear capabilities were deteriorating, not advancing.

So Hussein had the desire but not the means to produce unconventional weapons that could threaten his neighbors or the West.

So says Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group.

Our intelligence said otherwise, John Howard responded on Radio National Breakfast this morning. The Prime Minister added that he had acted in good faith on the basis of that intelligence. Well, that intelligence from the US and the UK was dead wrong. It did not even come close to the truth of the matter. However we know that the the Defence Intelligence Organisation advised that Iraq could only have limited, degraded stocks of WMD; not enough to constitute a significant threat.

The prewar justifications for invading Iraq, which centered largely on the contention that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, are without foundation.

What the Duelfer Report also says is that the U.N. sanctions that prevented Saddam Hussein from getting the materials neeeded for his weapons of mass destruction programme; Hussein intended to reconstitute weapons of mass destruction programs if he were freed of UN sanctions; that Hussein had hindered and evaded international inspectors to preserve his weapons of mass destruction capabilities.

Iraq did not pose a serious threat to Australia. Hence the war was not a just one.

Meanwhile, the PM is continuing to run fiction that the war in Iraq is the centre of the war of the war on terrorism. Evoking 'national security' in relaton to Iraq (eg. its terrorist threats to us) is meaningless. The job national security is really doing is to evoke fear within the Australian people--and then harness it as part of a huge fear campign run by the Coalition to retain power.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:21 AM | | Comments (6)


Re Australia's involvement in Iraq. Indeed there may not have been evidence for WMD in Iraq after 1991. However, I am glad I have not had to live under a ruler like Sudam. Was it unjust to bring the dictator and his team to some form of Justice? How many citizens of a nation have to be murdered by its ruler before independent nations like Australia step in to stop the bloodshed?

The PM has always rejected regime change as a sufficient reason to invade another country.

Nor did we invade Idonesia under Suharto or Chile under Pinochet.

On your principle we would be interfering in a lot of countries if we did.We should be invading China to free the Tibetans from oppression.

The key principle in just war theory is that the Saddam Hussein need to pose a significant theory to Australia, and diplomacy has failed, for Australia to intervene.

Hussein did not pose a significant threat to Australia, nor had he invaded another sovereign country as in 1991. So the UN containmment and inspectors regime was the way to go.

Steve, while I agree with your sentiments about brutal dictoars, you would then have to justify why we haven't taken action to stop bloodshed against far more brutal dictators, anywhere from Rwanda to North Korea, Congo to Sudan, and why we even intervened so late in East Timor (much as our involvment there was a good thing) knowing a bloodbath was imminent. There is no action to back up the words. And words without action are well...

I cannot justify the lack of response to the bloodshed in Rwanda et al. I find it distressing to think that 10,000 people a day, for 100 days, died in Rwanda, and no action was taken to stop the bloodshed. I also find the lack of action in the Balkans reprehensible, and East Timor, and , and the list goes on.

I understand that Sadam was asked by the United Nations to change his behaviour, and he refused to comply with the demands for 10 years. I believe that in terms of justice, if a higher authority requires a change of behaviour from a person/nation, and that change is not forthcoming, then the higher authority has the right to take action against that person/nation.

" then the higher authority has the right to take action against that person/nation"
I will leave aside your concept of higher authority and ask,
What did the higher authority ask of Saddam? To stop killing his people or was it something to do with WMDs?
And which higher authority took the action against him?

I agree with saint.
You owe us an account of what you mean by "higher authority."

Is that the UN or the Coalition of the Willing?

It cannot be the UN because that body rejected the need to make a shift from containmment to war. The evidence presented did not warrant the shift.

That leaves the Coalition of the Willing led by the US.

So what makes the US a higher authority than say France or Germany?