Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dirty Bush's Oedipal War on Iraq -- "A Catastrophic Blunder"

Via the Sydney Morning Herald.

The war in Iraq has been a "catastrophic blunder" that has substantially increased the terrorist threat to Australia, one of the nation's most distinguished former diplomats said today.

Richard Woolcott, a retired foreign affairs chief who advised seven prime ministers, launched a sweeping attack on the federal government, saying that Australian democracy was not functioning as it should.

Mr Woolcott made the comments during a speech at the University of Newcastle's annual Human Rights and Social Justice lecture this afternoon.

He branded the Iraq war a "disaster", saying the Prime Minister seemed unable to admit the obvious.

"The Iraq war has been a disaster and has substantially increased the terrorist threat Mr Howard said it would reduce," he said.

"The aim of foreign and defence policy is to make Australia secure - ironically some of our policies have placed Australians at greater risk."

Mr Woolcott called on the government to come up with an exit strategy.

"The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, having made such a catastrophic foreign and security policy blunder, are now trapped in a dilemma of their own making," he said. . . Mr Woolcott's criticism of the war followed recent comments from Australia's former defence chief General Peter Cosgrove that it had boosted global terrorism and Britain's top soldier Sir Richard Dannatt, who called for the recall of his troops from Iraq.

Mr Woolcott said human rights suffered in a climate of war and fear.

"In 2006 our established ideals of decency, fairness, tolerance,
justice and truth in government are under challenge," he said.

Australia's democracy was not functioning as it should, he said.

"I believe it is affected by hubris, the arrogance that comes from 10 years in power, the politics of fear, nurtured by the so-called 'war on terror' and latent racism," he said.

"The government has also suffered from a lack of the important qualities of patience and humility.

"This is impacting adversely on the wider community, including in the areas of human rights and social justice."

Mr Woolcott said his service to four Liberal and three Labor prime ministers proved the objectivity of his remarks, but from "personal experience" he expected to be attacked.

"The present government tends to treat its critics - even those who have served it in the past - as virtual enemies rather than as possibly useful channels to community opinion," he said.

And the beat goes on, here.


Coffee Messiah said...

It's only a matter of time before the facts catch up to these 1 sided listeners.
Amazing that Freedom to them is only to listen to themselves.
If I were in school and impressionable, I'd hope I'd have better teachers than these people.
Am lucky to have had teachers who asked for alternative opinions to debate, 'cause it
shouldn't be otherwise: Anytime, Anyplace or Anywhere!

Unsane said...

They believe in a narrow little truth which has not interface with concrete reality.