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Feelings of déjà vu

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Events over the last 24 hours, in addition to eliciting that feeling of déjà vu, validate Iraq War Inquiry Group’s core positions in a most dramatic way.

Here we go again; the US is poised to undertake a military strike against Syria, and does not feel it needs to await the report of the UN weapons inspectors because, as John Kerry puts it, we can rely on our conscience and common sense. It will be without UN authority, but US/UK leaders insist it will be legal. It will be limited and proportionate, says David Cameron – aren’t they all? It is not about regime change (neither ostensibly were Iraq or Libya).

At least the British Government is recalling Parliament for a debate and a vote – but contrary to his position in Opposition, Cameron insists this vote will not be binding; the Government will decide.

Meanwhile in Australia Kevin Rudd is enjoying the spotlight and the prospect that our Ambassador to the UN becomes President of the Security Council from next Monday. Kevin Rudd is opposed to shifting the “war powers” to Parliament, but apparently on television last night raised doubt about Tony Abbott’s suitability (“doesn’t have the temperament”) to make such decisions. Nothing could better illustrate our concerns – leaving aside any question about particular individuals, a robust decision-making process will not be critically dependent upon the vagaries of who happens to be Prime Minister at the time.

I have been making these points in the twittersphere and elsewhere, but we need as many of our readers and supporters as possible to make such points as you feel moved to make in your own way through your own contacts and outlets.

Originally published by AWPR, 28 August, 2013 | 5:39 pm

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