Jul 062007

Aussie terrorism victim fronts anti-war campaign
Well timed deliberately or not, Louise Barry’s video support of the GetUp campaign to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq must surely have an impact on the government in this election year.

Apropos of my post yesterday on the 2007 Defence Update, Ms Barry’s plea to Howard for some kind of clarification other than a complete rejection of her stance in regard to Iraq couldn’t come at a worse moment for the Howardian cabal. Personally, I think it’s fitting and so very timely when one considers that the release of yesterdays Defence Update was nothing more than a propaganda exercise on the part of the government in support of it’s stubborn stance on Iraq.
Continued Australian involvement in that theatre does not in any way, shape or form aid or contribute significantly to the safety and security of the average Iraqi citizen. Nor does it assure the provision of services and infrastructure which were promised by the coalition as part rationale of the illegal invasion of 2003. Australia remains in Iraq because it cannot withdraw without suffering irreparable political damage both at home and internationally. For similar reasons, neither the UK nor the US can withdraw, because their so-called ‘job’ is not finished there. If it ever can be.
It’s interesting to note that yesterdays Defence Update makes solid references to the belief by government that Australia is not currently under any terrorist threat, not is any terrorist threat perceived imminent. This belief flies in the face of Ms Barry’s belief, and doubtless that of many other Australian citizens, especially those of us who opposed the expeditionary excursion into the fracas which Iraq has become in the first instance. While Australia has not suffered an act of terrorism on home soil, and likely won’t in the near term, doesn’t mean it can’t happen, won’t happen, or is a lesser concern simply because as a nation we’re involved in military interventions in supposed nests of terrorist vipers far from our shores. Completely to the contrary in my view. The more we poke our noses into the affairs of those societies which don’t align with our ideals in terms of religion, politics and ideology, the more likely we are to be assessed as a part of the threat to their possible future. Consider, dear reader, how you react when constantly told that you’re doing something wrong, when in your mind, whatever it is works just fine for you. How would you react if the individual(s) purporting to be ‘helping’ you, did so with aggressive intent?
As I stated yesterday, Australia’s sphere of strategic responsibility and national interest is the Asia-Pacific region. The Middle East doesn’t need our involvement, nor do we need to be involved militarily that far from our own region of concern. Time to swallow your pride, Mr Howard and face realities. Iraq is a stone weighing around your political neck. Either cast it off, or it’ll drag you under, and soon.

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