The following letter by Dr Sue Wareham, Vice-President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW), and Secretary, Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry, was published in The Canberra Times, Saturday 31 August 2013.
Original may be viewed at Canberra Times letters for that day.
Those calling for the bombing of Syria as punishment for the use of chemical weapons in the country seem to think that Western missiles will make the place safer for its millions of civilians. Talk of brief military interventions, before weapons inspectors get a chance to report, sends chilling reminders of how leaders lied and rushed their way to war against Iraq, with catastrophic results that will continue for decades.
“International action” is indeed called for, but adding more firepower into the chaotic and hate-filled mix is the most counter-productive and feeble-minded type of action that could be inflicted on the people of Syria. The country needs less violence, not more.
It is to be hoped that when Australia assumes presidency of the UN Security Council this weekend, we will uphold the primary purpose of the UN as set out in its Charter, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, and not hideously twist the role into subservience to the various warmongers that clutter up the Council with their own agendas. Stopping weapons flows to all sides in this horrendous war, including the jihadist rebels whom the US is so keen to support, would be a good start.