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Aussie opinion: "Stuck in coalition of the immoral for no good reason"

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AussieInCA Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:33 AM
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Aussie opinion: "Stuck in coalition of the immoral for no good reason"
Looks like my brothers and sisters back home are calling it for what it is...these are today's letters to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald:


At last we have the truth from Hugh White ("As the going gets tough, America will need us more", Herald, May 6.) The war in Iraq is about oil, it is going to go on for a long time and success is not assured. The apologists for this adventure should level with the public.

They know it is impossible to get on top of the Iraqi resistance without, at least, double the number of troops. The French needed 400,000 troops to suppress the Algerian independence movement. They bombed civilians, used torture and resettled 2 million peasants.

That war lasted eight years and cost at least 400,000 military and civilian deaths, but France lost Algeria. The longer we stick with the US, the more we will be justifiably hated.

No doubt supporters of the US alliance, like White, will argue that is even more reason to cling to it.

Gavin Gatenby, Turrella, May 6.

Hugh White writes that as the going gets tough, America will need us more. Will somebody explain to me in my naivete why the US doesn't have large and strong allies in Iraq? I refer to Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, the Philippines - all conveniently close to the US and all with huge armies. But we never hear of them being part of the coalition of the willing. So why us?

Jon Fox, Marrickville, May 6.

Hugh White's comments should not be allowed to go unchallenged. He claimed that unless Australia stays in the immoral US enterprise in Iraq, it may not get the Gulf oil. This is a silly argument because oil producers must sell their oil for their survival, for they cannot eat the oil.

There is no reason for not selling to North-East or South-East Asian countries, except the gung-ho Japan, South Korea and Thailand, who joined the coalition of the immoral. If the US and its coalition were not allowed to buy Gulf oil, the price of oil would be likely to fall.

Adrian Chan, Ashfield NSW, May 6.

The increasing enmeshment of Australian support to a flawed US policy is the result of not being genuinely objective, of not telling our friends what we really think - to paraphrase Mark Latham's speech during the Bush visit. When a timetable for such drastic, invasive action is driven only by an ideological deadline, we consequently get people like Hugh White saying "contrary to predictions, the task of stabilising and governing Iraq is proving a lot harder than expected".

David Cumming, Mosman, May 6.

Hugh White admits to a "moral ambiguity of the task" in Iraq, but argues the overriding importance of our US alliance. In contrast on the same page, Robert Scheer points out the cost to society of a foreign policy based on blatant lies, and ignoring those values we are supposed to uphold. Australia also seems willing to ignore our moral implication in the deeds of coalition partners in Iraq.

Peter O'Hara, Bronte, May 6,

Recent revelations from Iraq could begin to shatter the long-held belief by most of us in the civilised Western world that we have earned and deserve the title of the "goodies".

It comes as a sobering jolt that, just maybe, our governments and intelligence agencies are dragging us in as accessories to an insidious culture that backs "whatever it takes" to achieve a result for an ideology alien to the average Joe Blow.

John Corcoran, Darlinghurst, May 6.

These recent allegations of prisoner abuse by American and British military and civilian personnel, although abhorrent, still do not meet the level of murder and abuse by the same military forces against the civilian population of Iraq. The civilian death toll of this war is well over the 10,000 mark. Don't these people deserve the same justice?

George Delaportas, Ashfield, May 6.

Hugh White misses some important points. He should remember that Australian sacrifices in Europe for England in World War II did not produce a return of support during the Japanese threat to us. Does he think our work in Iraq will guarantee anything more?

New Zealand's David Lange was correct to take a principled stance on nuclear weapons and New Zealand has since thrived. Mr Lange realised the US really had little interest in a tiny distant nation with a few bales of wool as the only collateral.

Peter Bennett, Nelson Bay, May 6.

Your Wednesday edition filled me with despair that I have lived to see Australia become so involved in lies, deceit and murder in the name of war linked to political survival.

To read that there have been 25 prisoners of war deaths in custody in US Army prisons since the start of the Iraq war and realise that we are implicated by association is to hang one's head in shame.

Norman Barnwell, Goulburn, May 6.
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glarius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 10:55 AM
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1. I wish you well....the USA military website has listed in the "coalition"
my country, Canada....This is a lie....We are not part of the "coalition of the willing".....We have troops in Afghanistan, where we've been from the beginning, but they are dishonestly trying to make it look like we are in Iraq too...This is why our citizens are being kidnapped in Iraq.....disgusting!
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