I was a supporter of Australia’s participation in the Iraq war and see to reason to change my mind now. After September 11 there was no way the USA could allow the Saddam regime survive and Australia could not isolate itself from the reality of terrorist states.

John Howard explained why we went to war in 2003. Lets revisit the reasons and check the outcomes.

1)” That is the reason above all others why I passionately believe that action must be taken to disarm Iraq. Not only will it take dangerous weapons from that country but it will send a clear signal to other rogue states and terrorists groups like Al Qaeda which clearly want such weapons that the world is prepared to take a stand.”

Done. Iraq has been disarmed and will not be giving WMD to terrorists or anyone else. Critics say Iraq didn’t have any WMDs at the time of the invasion. I say, tough. Saddam should have co-operated with the UN and the USA as he agreed to do after losing the Gulf War.

2)“There’s also another reason and that is our close security alliance with the United States. The Americans have helped us in the past and the United States is very important to Australia’s long-term security. “

Done. Our alliance with the USA is stronger then ever giving us access to top intelligence and military hardware. If Rudd wins the election he would be reducing our commitment to the war not ending it, he knows the importance of the alliance.

3)” His is an appalling regime: its torture, its use of rape as an instrument of intimidation, the cruelty to children to extract confessions from parents. It is a terrible catalogue of inflicting human misery on a people who deserve much better……

The removal of Saddam Hussein will lift this immense burden of terror from the Iraqi people. “

Done. Saddam Hussein is gone. The Iraqi people now have a chance of evolving a consensual government. Whether they actually achieve this remains to be seen but theres some recent grounds for optimism. In any case they have been given the opportunity.

No matter who wins the election we are at the tail end of our involvement. The American Surge will ebb and they, and we, will leave. Whats important is what happens next time. Because there will be a next time. Australians will be called to fight far away to stop the masters of mass destruction.

My biggest concern is still the bad intelligence on those WMDs. That makes me very wary of any military nuke removal exercise. Especially in the case of Iran but thats a subject for a future post.


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