Australia’s Iraq Disgrace

Mark Seymour’s thoughts on Iraq, after the US Republicans lose control of their House of Representatives and Senate.

Author: Mark Seymour.

Date: 13 November 2006.

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We’ve just copped the 8th interest rate rise in a row under the watch of a government that won the last election by asking us who we could trust to keep them low. Australians swallowed the bait and now they’re not low anymore. Now if you don’t think this matters too much, or if your mortgage isn’t killing you, you’ll probably wander into a polling booth in eighteen months time thinking things aren’t too bad really and you may as well give the old bugger another go. Well, think about this:

John Howard decided on our behalf, to commit our defence forces to a war that should never have happened, that has brought about the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings because he thought it was a right and proper idea and that those of us who didn’t agree were merely doing so for political reasons; that we were anti-American, or pro-terrorist, or giving comfort to Saddam, or whatever excuse he could think of at whatever stage the debate was at…

Well, now that two thirds of America’s citizens have sent a resounding message to George Bush that he’s really screwed up in Iraq, Howard is now exhorting us to protect the “prestige of the United States of America”. Well, bugger their prestige. What about ours?

There are millions of human beings around the globe who think George Bush has already shot that particular concept well and truly to pieces simply by creating the bloody shambles in the first place.

So who’s prestige should we be protecting? Our own of course, but you have to wonder if that’s pretty much done with too, simply because we flew in the face of world opinion, and because George and John have a “special relationship.”

I could not possibly vote for a government whose foreign policy, such that it is, has helped to bring about the deaths of so many innocent people. Bugger the economy. Human lives come first in my book and I’m not even a Christian! We’re talking about COMMON DECENCY HERE. Whatever way you look at it, whether you’re god-fearing like Howard, or a card-carrying atheist, our involvement in the Iraq disaster is an appalling indictment of our national dignity. It’s time that we Australians started taking responsibility for our politics. There are no excuses. The carnage unleashed by the invasion of Iraq, which John Howard endorsed on our behalf, is a moral disgrace and cannot be tolerated.