Topic: election Oz 2007
[Direct lift below from Get Up organisation website, and we notice Bret Solomon of that organisation with a profile in the back section of the recent Boss 11/07 magazine of the Australian Financial Review - no mention of Bret's connection with ex Looksmart chief Evan Thornley now an ALP MP. Cute omission that as much as we like Get Up's work. This call by Blix is timely with the inevitable financial scandal of this so far $1.7 Trillion Iraq dollar war, a predictable financial tragedy via the military industrial complex according to giant USA political economist J K Galbraith.]
Hans Blix Writes to GetUp Members
Posted on the campaign blog , November 11th, 2007
Brett Solomon and Hans Blix
Dear GetUp members,
I am pleased to have the opportunity to blog on your site.
The sooner this chapter in Iraqi history is finished the better.
I would like to reflect on the justifications for going to war. Firstly, the Americans, Australians and others went to destroy weapons of mass destruction that simply did not exist. They went in to create democracy, and so far they have come out with anarchy. And they invaded to eliminate Al Qaeda. They were not there, but Al Qaeda certainly came there after the occupation. I cannot see any success in this intervention except in getting rid of Saddam Hussein, who was a terrible dictator and a murderer.
The UN and Security Council rightly refused to provide authorisation for an invasion that should not have taken place. That is to the credit of the Council. The US, UK, Australia and others by ignoring the council lost a great deal of legitimacy and it cost them quite a lot. How would we have viewed the UN Security Council today if they had authorised the war?
We must solve conflicts by non-violent means. There was no excuse for going to war in 2003. Iraq was not threatening anybody and there was no urgency at all. The Coalition governments misled themselves and then they misled the world.
I believe there now needs to be a timetable for withdrawal. A timetabled withdrawal is the only way to make the Iraqis feel that they own the problem themselves. Everybody understands that withdrawing all troops today could risk a civil war but ultimately the US must leave all together. To have a vague position from people even like Hillary and Obama is not productive. I am skeptical about the position of having a limited number of foreign troops remain.
A national government in Iraq that is to govern with the support of the people can hardly have foreign troops in the country. If you have a timetable the various Iraqi groups will know that they are alone in the boat and they must steer it to a safe harbour. There is no guarantee that they will succeed. But lets not forget that the Iraqis are very capable people.
For Australian soldiers in Iraq it is of course more than symbolic, but with 140,000 foreign troops overall, Australia’s contribution in Iraq is a symbolic one. Australian withdrawal would have no major impact on the security situation in Iraq.
The West's involvement in the war in Iraq has made the West less safe. It has lead to encouragement of terrorism. Any attacks on civilians, like what happened to Louise Barry, is unacceptable. I think the most important thing that could be done to reduce terrorism is a settlement of the conflict in the Middle East.
All of us can play a role in supporting the development of peace - whether you wave a flag, you put your vote somewhere or you write articles or even if you discuss it.
It is good to have passion but it is equally important to understand reality. The Iraq war was based on a lack of understanding. They did not even want to know the reality. How can you have the right therapy if you don't have the right diagnosis?
I encourage you to study. And it’s not that easy in a world where there is as much disinformation as there is information. We have to soak up as much information from different sources as possible.
Many governments went ahead despite being aware of public opposition.
In a democracy like the US, UK or Australia, it is entirely legitimate to demand that the government should pay attention to a broad opinion that is opposed to the war.
I wish you and your campaign for a withdrawal from Iraq all the best.
Hans Blix was the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1981-97. Blix was called back from retirement by Kofi Anan to lead the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission. The Coalition of the Willing's assertion of the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction was contradicted by Blix in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction have since been found and evidence of theie existence has been rejected as forgery. More information about Hans Blix can be found here.