Richard Tanter on “Is Australia too close to the US?”

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 18 November, 2012 | 3:31 pm

On Friday 16 November Iraq War Inquiry Group Committee member Professor Richard Tanter was interviewed on ABC 612 Brisbane by Steve Austin, presenter of the station’s Mornings program.

The theme of the interview was “Is Australia too close to the US?” but it starts with a discussion of what the Iraq War Inquiry Group is all about. Catch it here.…

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Death from above: Ramesh Thakur on drones

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 18 November, 2012 | 11:22 am

IWIG member Professor Ramesh Thakur of the Australian National University (Crawford School of Public Policy) writes in The Ottawa Citizen, 16 November 2012 that armed drone attacks in Pakistan are cheap, effective and safe for Americans, but the terrible costs outweigh the benefits.

He writes:

US drones have killed 2,000 to 3,000 people in Pakistan … Both U.S. presidential candidates supported the continued use of drones, and recently Britain announced a doubling of its drone fleet in Afghanistan while France said it is sending drones to Mali.

The U.S. has more than 7,000 drones today compared to 50 just a …

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Sue Wareham on Alan Stretton

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 14 November, 2012 | 3:32 pm

Following is the text of a letter to the editor of The Canberra Times written by IWIG Secretary Dr Sue Wareham on the occasion of the death of Major-General Alan Stretton AO, CBE, and published today:

It is astonishing and deeply regrettable that Major-General Alan Stretton’s death has not even been mentioned in Parliament. (”Parliament overlooked cyclone Tracy hero Stretton”, November 9, p1). He truly was a hero in the aftermath of Darwin’s 1974 disaster, being named Australian of the Year the following year.

However, Stretton’s views would not all have found favour in the corridors of power, especially those …

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About Iraq War Inquiry Group

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 13 November, 2012 | 3:35 pm

Iraq War Inquiry Group Inc is an association incorporated under Victorian law for the following purposes:

  • To campaign for an inquiry into the steps which led to Australia participating in the invasion of Iraq, for the purposes of identifying the lessons to be learned and of developing better procedures for the future.
  • To promote public awareness of the procedures required by current law for the deployment of the Australian Defence Force into international armed conflicts, and of the risks involved in the current arrangements.
  • To campaign for the involvement of the Commonwealth Parliament in any future deployment of the Australian
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    No UK bases for attacks on Iran

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 13 November, 2012 | 3:34 pm

    Iraq War Inquiry Group is following very closely the confrontation between the United Sates and Iran, because we regard the possibility of a pre-emptive attack on Iran as one of the most likely issues to raise the question of whether or not to involve the Australian Defence Force should be deployed into another international conflict. With the failure of Senator Ludlam’s War Powers Bill, any decision about whether to involve Australian forces in a conflict with Iran remains within the power of a very small group of people.

    Accordingly, we note with great interest the news that Britain has rebuffed …

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    ABC TV coverage

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 13 November, 2012 | 3:33 pm

    Today I recorded an interview with Jeff Waters of ABC TV News, covering why we think an inquiry is necessary, what we are trying to achieve with our campaign, and how we are going about it.

    That will go to air in the next few days, timing depending on what other news is around. I expect it will be on ABC News 24’s breakfast program, with smaller grabs during the day, and possibly the evening news on ABC 1, and that it will also appear on Radio National Breakfast.

    We will post more definite news about when it will go …

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    Iraq war, what was it good for? Absolutely nothing

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Media | 23 August, 2012 | 9:28 am

    Chris Smith (Letters, August 21) asks why we still need to question why we went to war to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

    If the reasons for the invasion were those he lists in his letter – not the threat of Saddam’s ”weapons of mass destruction” – then the answer to his question is obvious: how can the leaders of the US, Britain and Australia take their citizens to war on a lie, destroy a country, kill tens of thousands and lose thousands of their own and depart office without suffering so much as a rebuke from the institutions (parliament, judiciary and …

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    St Patrick’s Church

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Media | 21 August, 2012 | 8:54 am

    The Catholic Church wishes to appeal against the listing of St Patrick’s Church on the ACT Heritage Register (”Debate over heritage value of St Patrick’s”, August 17, p6) because it wishes to use the realised profits from the land for other redevelopment.

    Monsignor John Woods is reported saying that ”there are mechanisms in the Planning and Development ACT where the archdiocese could argue that the economic values of the site were greater than the heritage values”.

    If such mechanisms were in place or perceived to be in place due to purposeful misinterpretation of words, the heritage of all of Canberra …

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    Two decades of super profits not enough

    By: Andrew Farran | Posted in: Media | 18 August, 2012 | 8:39 am

    I DON’T know whether to laugh or cry when I hear Tatts claim that it has been treated ”unconscionably” by the Victorian government (”$1bn hinges on one word”, The Age, 17/8). Tatts and Tabcorp raked in billions over the 20 years of the duopoly they held in Victoria. Most of this came from the pockets of vulnerable people, leaving a trail of crime, broken homes and mental illness in its wake.

    Further, the killing they made was far more than the government ever expected they would make. A National Competition Policy review in 2000 found that both companies were extracting …

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    Why supporters of ANZUS should support an Australian Inquiry into Iraq

    By: Charles Sampford | Posted in: Media | 16 August, 2012 | 11:51 am

    Going to war is the most serious decision a government can make. War is not “politics carried on by other means” as German statesman Von Clausewitz once asserted.

    It is a form of organised, pre-meditated mass killing – deliberate for combatants, inevitable for non-combatants. Saying that does not make me a pacifist (which I am not). But it does emphasise that we need extraordinarily good reasons to go to war. Those good reasons abounded in the World War II when the US alliance was forged. The UN Charter, ANZUS and other treaties which the US and Australia promoted recognise that …

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