22 March 2006

Comrade not sure why we're in Iraq

| johnboy
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For reason’s passing understanding the Chief Minister wants to know why Australia continues to keep a low key security force in Iraq.

He’s not up to putting it online but it seems he’s always able to have a word to his friends at the ABC.

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has used the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq to call on the Federal Government to explain its continued involvement in the war.

It seems Our Brave Leader is miraculously both so better informed than the government that he knows our presence there is making things worse, and yet still ignorant of the reasons troops remain.

How about this sir: Even if removing a horrible dictator wasn’t sufficient reason to get involved in the first place, we can’t go back and change that decision, so why not respond to the democratically elected government of Iraq’s calls for international forces to help them stabilise the situation?

Surely a spitefull desire to see the original justifications for war proved false isn’t enough to make sane humans yearn for an anarchic descent into chaos in Iraq?

Oh, and happy Canberra Day to you too Mr. Stanhope.

UPDATED: The Chief Minister’s ever efficient staff have finally put his media release online.

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barking toad1:06 pm 22 Mar 06

So Mal you’re saying that the local mayor is stepping up to the plate to do a job he (or is it you?)considers the elected federal government isn’t doing.

Hahahahahahaha – delusions of grandeur and then some!

Do you work for him?

now that’s something they do have, a whokle advertising industry sustained by their poor diet and an obsession with their own aresholes.

Absent Diane12:26 pm 22 Mar 06

OT – I keep reading “Defacto conscription” as “Defacto constipation”…which amuses my small mind

“Defacto conscription” is pushing it a bit far, but the US armed forces do push themselves very strongly in low income areas and schools. As usual it’s a complicated issue, but it should be acknowleged that a kid from the kind of background that most of us have is going to find it easier to make the choice not join up.

How exactly has the federal govt failed ? i know that softheads arent great fans of democracy, as their nutjob ideas are usually soundly rejected, but you will acknowledge that a federal election has been held since forces were committed to iraq and the howard govt was returned.

im afraid you just cannot argue that ‘the nations will’ whatever that is, was ignored. the ballot box is the ultimate test of accountability.

as to your comments on defacto conscription, i think they’ve been suitably addressed.

is the new issue of green left out today ?

The US has de facto conscription in that for large sections of the population, the only recourse to a job that will feed their families is to join the military.

What total bullshit. Have you ever spent any time in the US?

It is possible to fix footpaths & show leadership at the same time.

It is true the Chief Minister does not represent the nation. But with the failure of the Federal Government represent the nation’s will on this issue, and the refusal of the conservative media oligarchy to give the Federal Opposition airtime on it (“they would say that, wouldn’t they”), leadership has to come from elsewhere. Its not ideal, but we don’t live in an ideal world.

The US has de facto conscription in that for large sections of the population, the only recourse to a job that will feed their families is to join the military.

Absent Diane9:50 am 22 Mar 06

What determines that he is not in a position politically… as far as I can tell he is in a position where if he says something in public.. the media are normally interested… I think that is the perfect forum to voice your concerns..

If you don’t like it do something about it next election

DT: the ABC reported on Stanhope’s media release, not some desire to seek out a spokesperson for “their view of the world”.

That is the problem – Mr Stanhope is not in a position politically to be commenting, as he has perhaps momentarily forgotten his calling…he represents the ACT, not the nation…sad for all of us that he seems to overlook this fact.

the us do not have a conscript army.

anyone who gets through basic understands that as a soldier, people will want to kill you.

the deployment of an army is the ultimate extension of a nations diplomatic intent.

if you dont want to get shot for something you dont believe in, then dont join that army.

no press gangs as far as i can see.

Absent Diane5:14 pm 21 Mar 06

The footpaths in canberra are well above average….

I am sure the american families of the dead US soldiers will feel that the loss of their loved ones was worth it, to rid the world of a Nasty Leader. And yes JB if you make a mess you are morally obliged to clean it up. However if while cleaning it up it gets worse then you are doing something wrong. Common sense says that a different way of solving it is called for, what that is I do not know. But I really feel for all those killed and/or have lost family members for a war started of a wrong premise.

when the footpaths in my street are fixed, then he can spout off about any softhead cause he cares.

until then id prefer he shut the fuck up about bomb craters in iraq and concerned himself with pot holes in canberra.

Absent Diane3:08 pm 21 Mar 06

Saddam was vile in every sense…. he was so vile that even osama thought so…. so that’s gotta be worth something…

“Surely we can agree Saddam was a bastard…”

sure, why not.

“…the world is better off removed from power?”

non-sequiter, and I’m not convinced. At least he was a secular bastard.

While the US record is far from perfect (in fact bloody awfull) I prefer their unilateralism to the results the UN multilateralism gets. (See Rwanda, Bosnia, Sudan right this minute).

Surely we can agree Saddam was a bastard the world is better off removed from power?

I was convinced.

Absent Diane1:00 pm 21 Mar 06

It probably should be me….

Who determines if the dictator is vile?

Absent Diane11:18 am 21 Mar 06

I do agree Mal that he has a right to comment on such things… but it seems to be the trend in the last few years where the general population wants their government to be soley interested in their region and to stay out of others affairs……
which of course leads to deeper philosophical questions.. which would lead me somewhat off topic….
Should we be in iraq… yes we should… assisting fixing up the damage the yanks caused… should we have gone in.. yes morally obliged… but I think that once you have set a precedent as such you need to follow it up and go and blow the fuck out of other countries with vile dictators…

barking toad10:50 am 21 Mar 06

The mayor volunteered a press release on this? He’s more brain fucked than I thought. And of course my humble apologies to the ABC for even thinking they would seek his comments.

Barking toad: the ABC reported on Stanhope’s media release, not some desire to seek out a spokesperson for “their view of the world”.

barking toad10:04 am 21 Mar 06

Unfortunately Mal the local mayor has delusions of grandeur along the lines of your thoughts.

The reality is though that the fact that Canberra was created as the site for the national parliament does not reflect any great glory on the local mayor depite his ambitions and wishes to be a world leader.

The question is no longer why we went, the question is why we stay (or more accurately, went back).

I thought we went to war because Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, not because of the Nasty Leader.

Very muddle-headed, johnboy.

There was a very clear reason why the Yanks invaded Iraq: To get rid of weapons of mass destruction. Its now conceded by everybody, including Bush, that there were no WMDs. Given the reason no longer exists, we should get out.

Its good, of course, that Saddam Hussein is gone. You could even argue that the West had a responsibility to get rid of him, given the West bankrolled him for years, including while he used chemical weapons against Iranian civilians. But you have to remember why its good Saddam is gone: he used to kill & torture his own citizens, and destabilised the region by declaring war on his neighbours. Under the new conditions, there are even more Iraqis being killed & tortured, and by more people. The region has become even more destabilised, with al-Qaeda now firmly based in Iraq (the West used to bankroll Saddam precisely because he was a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism), Turkey considered about its eastern regions breaking up, and Iran so worried about encirclement that it is investing in nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Iraq has become a shambles, infant mortality has gone throw the roof, & the only disagreement about the situation is whether Iraq is in civil war or just plunging into it.

George Bush Senior, when asked why he didn’t overthrow Saddam when he was thrown out of Kuwait, used to say that Saddam might be replaced with someone, or something, worse. History has proven him correct.

Its sensible to argue that however we got here, Western troops are needed now to try to restore some sort of stability. However, the presence of Christian troops in an Islamic country is a direct provocation, & is of itself destabilising. A better solution would be to gradually replace them with a UN-organised peacekeeping force primarily sourced from Islamic countries, or, if they could ever get their act together, an Arab League force after ECOMOG lines.

Fat chance? Perhaps. In the case of Aussie troops though, we have the worst of both worlds. Like most foreign contigents there, Aussies are present as a tokenistic figleaf so that Bush can portray the invasion as more than an Anglo-American exercise. Its difficult to argue that we are making any significant physical contribution to stability. This may change as Nelson sends in more troops. At the same time, now & in the future, our troops’ presence is provoking violent resistance in Iraq & resentment towards Australia from Muslims throughout the world.

Finally, regardless of what you think of Stanhope, he isn’t on par with the mayor of Goulburn, or Queanbeyan or Dubbo. He is chief minister of the National Capital from which an entire continent, & the greatest nation on earth, is governed. The ACT would be in much better shape if more people woke up to themselves & realised that.

barking toad8:50 am 21 Mar 06

Another example of the lefties at the ABC contacting the usual suspects to get comments supporting their view of the world.

And another example of our local mayor self importantly trying to strut the world stage.

Didn’t notice the mayors of Goulburn, Queanbeyan or even Captain’s Flat ringing up the ABC to pontificate on world politics.

Just concentrate on getting local issues sorted out ffs. You know, like education, health, police etc. And tell simon that warp speed buses and holes in hills for trams aren’t high priority when the cupboard’s bare.

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