10 April 2013

Howard defends Australia's role in allied invasion of Iraq

The IMF identifies only two periods of Australian 'fiscal profligacy' in recent years - both during John Howard's term in office.
John Howard. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Former prime minister John Howard has hotly rejected the claim that he led Australia into the 2003 Iraq war on the basis of a lie.

Mr Howard said the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after the allied invasion was ''unexpected'' and that some of the key assessments of Western intelligence agencies proved wrong.

But he told the Lowy Institute in Sydney, in a speech marking the 10th anniversary of the conflict, that this was a ''world away from those [intelligence] assessments being the product of deceit and/or political manipulation.'' Mr Howard said the belief that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD's was ''near universal'' at the time.

He said the bloody conflict between Sunni and Shiites which broke out in Iraq after the war ''did more damage in my judgment to the credibility of the coalition operation … than the failure to find stockpiles of WMDs''. The circumstances of the time, he said, ''necessitated a 100 per cent ally, not a 70 or 80 per cent one''.

Mr Howard said it was ''implausible'' to think the overthrow of Saddam had ''no relationship of any kind'' to the recent Arab Spring. He acknowledged the close relationship with the US was key to his government's decision to go into Iraq, saying, ''There was a sense then that a common way of life was under threat.''

brisbanetimes.com.au 10 April 2013

Australia under a US coalition went to war, invaded another country under false pretenses.
Previous examples of such actions, e.g. Germany, require the invading nation / nations to give compensation to the 'illegally' invaded country.
A current example is that Germany owes Greece approximately 460 billion euro in compensation for World War II.
Australia had a duty of care to investigate the intelligence gathered, before it went to war.

Australia's 'blind' invasion of Iraq shows how much of a 'lap dog' Australia really is for the United States.

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