16 March 2013
Iraq, the war and how we got it wrong
And his foreign affairs minister at the time, Alexander Downer, has revealed the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, virtually blamed former Australian diplomat and chief weapons inspector Richard Butler for the war.
A decade on from the invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition of the willing and Australian special-forces troops and RAAF fighter jets in March 2003, Mr Howard said he had not changed his mind because Iraq was better off without Saddam Hussein.
"Post invasion, mistakes were made, most particularly the dismantling of the Iraqi Army," Mr Howard said.
He said most people believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and then Labor spokesman Kevin Rudd had even stated that it was "empirical fact".
Mr Howard denied intelligence on the matter was manufactured.
He also said the Iraq experience could have been one of the catalysts for the so-called Arab Spring.
However, former Defence chief and Iraq war opponent General Peter Gration said the war was "immoral, illegal and unnecessary".
He said it was also one of the dumbest strategic decisions in Australian history.
"The civilian casualties and damage have been enormous and it was the first time in history that Australia had taken offensive action against a country that had done nothing to us," General Gration said.
"We need some way to ensure that this never happens again."
Mr Downer this week said the UN had been writing reports about Iraq's weapons stockpile for years.
He said Mr Annan had said to him that he could not believe that former head of the UN weapons inspection team, Mr Butler, had been made Governor of Tasmania.
"Annan said to me, `If not for Richard Butler there would not have been an Iraq War'," Mr Downer said.
Mr Butler denied the claim.
"The substance of what Annan is alleged to have said is incorrect," he said.
heraldsun.com.au 16 Mar 2013
Governments are not supposed to get it wrong, and they did not get it wrong.
The whole idea was to invade a country, supported by the official pretext, kill the resistive civilians, and grab the treasures.
If there is any ill-doing then there is room for litigation and compensation.
Government sponsored killings of civilians, not the first time nor the last.
Australia being, America's lap dog could not say 'No!'.
NB. Governments are above the law and beyond prosecution.