Defence Department says international law is ‘challenged’

RAAF Super Hornet aircrew on return to Australia from the Middle East last January    Image from The Australian


Today’s (2 March 2018) analysis by Chris Ray in The Australian explains Australia’s withdrawal of RAAF Super Hornets from Syria early this year, but not the continuing presence of the air-to-air refuelling aircraft and an E7-A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, and associated personnel.

Nor does it explain why the ARF and Special Forces are still needed on the ground in Iraq, if IS has been defeated, as the Iraqi Prime Minister says.

It doesn’t offer an alternative …

Describing ISIL as a “Death Cult” is a ploy to dumb us down.

Prime Minister Abbott’s constant reference to ISIL as a “Death Cult” is a gross over-simplification of a complex conflict in the Arab world. It is intended to exploit the gullibility of a great many Australians who take little interest in and have little understanding of that part of the world as they do not see it as affecting their personal interests, let alone that of the nation.

By deepening Australia’s military involvement in Iraq – which demonstrates that this government has learnt nothing from recent history – Australia is aligning with one dubious side over others in what is clearly …

Are we again on the brink of further “Mission Creep” in Iraq?

In his 2015 State of the Union address President Obama noted that Iraq War No 3 (not his term) “will take time”, meaning there is no end in sight. But what is it that  will take time? What would be its end? Does anyone have any realistic idea about that given that a militant cancer is spreading throughout the Middle East?

The US has recently committed a further 3,000 troops to Iraq though officially their ‘combat roles’ are confined to air strikes in Iraq and Syria. It is not hard to envisage that before the US can reduce troop levels …

Sue Wareham on Syria

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 …

Statement on Syria

The Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry said today that any use of chemical weapons, in Syria or elsewhere, is totally unacceptable. Allegations of their recent use in Syria can and must be investigated through the UN Secretary General’s office, in co-operation with the World Health Organisation in Geneva, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.

National intelligence assessments are not a sufficient condition for military strikes on Syria to proceed in a way that would be justified under international law. We would condemn, in the strongest terms, the breaking of international law governing the …

Responsibly protecting Syrians

Contribution by CIWI member NAJ Taylor

Allegations that chemical weapons have been deployed against civilians in Syria are troublesome and, if true, are abhorrent. But what facts have been established? What details are as yet unknown? And are calls for some form of military intervention warranted in the current situation? These are the questions that should and must be asked. But already the ground has been cleared such that speculation (on all sides) has become fact, and expert opinion derided as pure fantasy. There’s a need to look more closely at these truth claims so as to reveal something altogether …

Feelings of déjà vu

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 …

Letter to The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP Leader of the Opposition Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Mr Abbott I refer to my letter of 13 August seeking, on behalf of the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry, to ascertain the Liberal Party’s policy in the context of the current Federal Election campaign on several matters which are of central importance to our membership.

The latest developments in Syria, which have led once again to a situation in which we are awaiting for a definitive report from UN weapons inspectors while our major ally contemplates whether to intervene militarily, only serves to …

Letter to The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP

The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP c/- ALP National Secretariat Unit 5, 9 Sydney Avenue BARTON ACT 2600

Dear Mr Rudd

I refer to my letter of 13 August 2013 seeking, on behalf of the Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry, to ascertain the Australian Labor Party’s policy in the context of the current Federal Election campaign on several matters which are of central importance to our membership.

In that connection, I write to commend the comments attributed to you in today’s edition of The Age, connection with recent developments in Syria, to the effect that we need to be mindful …