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Iraq: Australian contradictions « Previous | |Next »
February 23, 2005

There was no strategic reason for Australia to be in Iraq in the first place. Is it the same for the Japanese, given that their presence in Iraq is an unpopular? The Dutch, who protected the Japanese, are leaving Iraq. The erosion of support for the international coalition in Iraq continues. So we step into the breach to protect the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force engineering contingent in a noncombat zone.

Why? Presumably because the former puppet government of Prime Minister Allawi failed to stop the insurgency that has developed into a guerrilla war. And we have obligations being a fully paid up member of the invasion force.


The neoconservatives in the Pentagon bear a great deal of the responsibility for the mess in Iraq today; a mess that increasingly borders on a civil war in which Iraqi's shoot and bomb one another. The mess is a contradictory process of peace giving rise to civil war.

The war party's current rhetoric is about tipping points in Iraq, and it being the wrong time to pack up and go home. Yet ADF troops are being quietly shifted into a combat role, even if not going to do any of the heavy lifting. John Quiggin is not persuaded by the war party's rhetoric. Neither is Margo.

Here is another contradiction. The Australian Government has increased our troop numbers to help out a sovereign Iraqi government, that is on the way to becoming an Islamic state. Australia is supporting an Iraqi government that looks as if it will be led by Ibraheim Al-Jaffari, the head of the pro-Iran Da’awa party, which calls for an Islamic Republic modeled like Iran.

Baghdad Burning addresses the possibility of the hope of a secular Iraq fading fast. This issue is not being addressed in the Australian media. Just read the Murdoch Press.

She puts it thus:

It’s not about a Sunni government or a Shia government- it’s about the possibility of an Iranian-modeled Iraq. Many Shia are also appalled with the results of the elections. There’s talk of Sunnis being marginalized by the elections but that isn’t the situation. It’s not just Sunnis- it’s moderate Shia and secular people in general who have been marginalized.

And the women. They are going to suffer. As she says, there is constant pressure in Baghdad from these parties for women to cover up what little they have showing; pressure in many colleges for the segregation of males and females; the threats, and the printed and verbal warnings, and sometimes attacks or insults.

She takes the possibility of Iranized Iraq seriously:

The list is frightening- Da’awa, SCIRI, Chalabi, Hussein Shahristani and a whole collection of pro-Iran political figures and clerics. They are going to have a primary role in writing the new constitution. There’s talk of Shari’a, or Islamic law, having a very primary role in the new constitution. The problem is, whose Shari’a? Shari’a for many Shia differs from that of Sunni Shari’a. And what about all the other religions? What about Christians and Mendiyeen?

Fundamentalism is returning and that is what Australia is providing security and help for.

Now, wasn't it only yesterday that the dualistic neocon discourse coonstructed a fundamentalist Islam as the enemy to be destroyed? Now they are our friends in Iraq who need our support to ensure they retain their hands on the levers of power. Should I re-read Orwell's Animal Farm to get my bearings in this topsy turvy world where things mean the opposite of what they appear?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:44 AM | | Comments (2)


Our invasion was/is totally & absolutely illegal. At least the Gov of S/Vietnam was ordered er asked to "request?" our involvement in a war that ended up totally pointless and useless we LOST! So all the diggers who sacrificed their lives and health did it for nothing. Remember this also was a liberal war and howard was a part of this gov as well, remember the liberal slogan "all the way with LBJ".Iraqis did not request us to invade & free them. Iraqi civilians like the Vietnamese civilians have been slaughtered in the thousands. They have been shot, blown-up and poisoned by depleted uranium ordinance. The Vietnamese it was poisoning by agent orange. Both of these cause severe cancers and are the reason for many gross deformaties in babies.
It frightens me that howard is deluded and he wants to be seen as a war time leader and is willing to sacrifice diggers to be seen as such. We also have set a precedent, what if in our fast changing world a strong moslem nation decides that we are mistreating our moslems so invades to rectify the 'problem'. I really think that howard and his gov. are ding-a-lings, and very dangerous one at that. Regards, numbat

Thank goodness there are one or two people who are seeing the situation as it is, not as we wish it would be, Fundamental Islam was always going be a winner, in Iraq. There have been murmurings of an Iran-like Iraq for months. The truth of the matter is that the Iraqi powerbrokers, whoever they may be, do not want an American-style democracy. They play the game as they must, to get what they want. How perfect, they did not even have to remove Saddam themselves. Extremely well played, I say.

In the meantime, we have no business being there. Sure we messed up. The mess is going to get worse and theres nothing we can do to fix it.