Liberating the persecuted? Iraq and Sudan

The Guardian has published one of the more telling articles I have read about the consequences, motivation and competence of those who generated and implemented the invasion of Iraq. It is by former British Army Colonel, Tim Collins, who became well known in the UK for the speech he gave to his Battalion prior to going into battle in Iraq in 2003.

We go to liberate, not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them.

Colonel Collins has now left the army, and he has written an article in The Guardian saying he clearly was naïve, and that “it is the role of the leaders of nations to explain where we are going and why. I, for one, demand to know.”

One cannot help but wonder what it was all about. If it was part of the war on terror then history might notice that the invasion has arguably acted as the best recruiting sergeant for al-Qaeda ever: a sort of large-scale equivalent of the Bloody Sunday shootings in Derry in 1972, which in its day filled the ranks of the IRA. If it was an attempt to influence the price of oil, then the motorists who queued last week would hardly be convinced. If freedom and a chance to live a dignified, stable life free from terror was the motive, then I can think of more than 170 families in Iraq last week who would have settled for what they had under Saddam. UK military casualties reached 95 last week. I nightly pray the total never reaches 100.

I shudder to think how parents who have loss a son or daughter in this war feel in the face of this unarmed truth, or indeed how a military commander feels who has led men to their deaths for such a ’cause’. I think the deceit used to fool people into believing this was a just war is an even greater crime than initiating the invasion.

An interesting contrast is the way countries are responding to the unthinkable persecution and oppression in Sudan. This piece by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times details various countries making up the ‘Axis of Medieval’, who are not only refusing to act but are even threatening those who try to show the facts about what continues to happen to the people in that country. More details can be found in this equally compelling article by the same writer. The television networks in the USA won’t even show an advertisement by this anti-genocide group trying to encourage more coverage of the killings in Darfur.

(acknowledgement to The Daily Briefing for initial links)

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  1. It doesn’t seem hard for me to realize why we have invaded Iraq, sure securing oil deposits is good and telling people that we are going to find WMDs and Free Iraq works for a while, but the main reason is to blow something up, then rebuild it.
    How do you rebuild it? You give American companies the contracts to rebuild it using Iraqi money (oil). Of-course you make sure you have a vested interest in these companies before you go of to war. Hurray for western civilization.

  2. In August 2002 I met a decent, loving young man while he was filming refugees in Australia, he wanted to make their lives better.
    He didn’t believe in the invasion of Afghanistan and dreaded the invasion of Iraq. He was blown to bits on the 2nd day while trying to leave.
    I “talked” to another young man in Baghdad during the war, his dad is a refugee here in Adelaide.
    Young Mutez said I saved his life and his sanity and hopefully before another Christmas is gone this young christian boy can play Bruce Springsteen CD’s with me as I have a deal with him.
    How could it be that anyone ever believed we had to blow up Iraq is the question I want answered.

  3. Time and again I read all kinds of comments about the murderous invasion into Iraq, but I wonder what did any of them try to do to stop it?
    On 18 March 2003 I lodged yet another application in the High Court of Australia to seek orders mandamus/prohibition to prevent Australian troops to invade into the sovereign nation Iraq upon constitutional grounds. The High Court of Australia on 19 March 2003 (the day the invasion commenced) refused to accept my application for filing. By this railroading my application! And they had done so before.
    In November I am back in Court again, and this time granted a hearing in which the validity of the 2001 federal election is again an issue, as I have contested since 2001!
    If in the end it is found the purported federal election was unconstitutional/illegal, and so John Howard never was elected then he would not have the protection of the office of the Prime minister.
    If one then considers that constitutionally a Prime Minister has no powers to authorize Australian troops to go to war, but the Minister of Defense can do so if the Commonwealth of Australia in under actual attack or otherwise after the governor-General has published a DECLARATION OF WAR, which in this case didn’t occur, then why then is it Andrew Bartlett and his fellow politicians not pursuing that John Howard is charged for treachery within Section 24AA of the Crime Act (Cth)?
    As I indicated in my book;
    INSPECTOR-RIKATI® & There is no Government to go to war
    A book on CD About Legal Issues Confronting Australia
    ISBN 0-9580569-5-1
    We never had any government to go to war!
    Regardless if a person may view that I never will succeed, at least I was the only one who actually through the courts sought to avoid Australian troops to get involved in this murderous invasion!
    Lots of people are arguing that the invasion was wrong, but in the end I am still as a lone person pursuing legal battles since 2001 to try to hold John Howard and his mates accountable for both the vexatious election and the illegal war!
    We are locking up innocent people, done no legal wrong, in concentration camps styled Detention Centres without DUE PROCESS OF LAW, and where are the politicians to work with me to stop this EVIL?
    No use for politicians to so to say sit on the sideline to complain about the wrong doings of detention when that is all they do! I was the one who filed a case in the High Court of Australia to challenge the constitutional validity of detention, and like everything else the High Court of Australia spin doctors refuse to accept the lodged documents for filing as to avoid having to hear and determine the case upon their merits. (Even so the documents were prepared as per directions of the Registrar!)
    And, how many politicians you think ever took this up?
    In my view, every politician who leaves people suffering in such inhumane conditions in the concentration camp styled Detention Centre cannot claim to be any better then those perpetrators who causes it, as if they have guts enough they would have pursued appropriate legal action to seek to stop it.
    At least I tried and tried again and still am pursuing it.
    Why, because as an Australian (not by birth) I fight for the political and personal liberties guaranteed in the Constitution.
    After all, the moment we allow this kind of tyranny to be accepted, by ignorance or otherwise, then we have turned this country in a worse condition then the communist ever could have done. After all, we already have Australians detained/deported and people to be imprisoned without charge.
    Not a single politician over the years even bothered to ask if they could somehow assist me in the fight. Even if I had not accepted their offer, at least they had made an effort, but none was ever forthcoming.
    See also
    Just consider this, that the people held in Detention Centre were born like ourselves “naked and unbeknown to what the world had installed for them”.
    If a person commits a crime, and you stand by allowing this to occur then you can be charged for allowing this to occur. As a citizen you have a duty to step in.
    Well, I view the same with politicians. If they are aware that John Howard is committing a crime to go to war (well he obviously stays safe and home while others place their lives on the line by his decision) then every politicians who stood by and allowed this to happen equally must be held responsible for this mass murder/destruction!
    At least, that is my view.

  4. Schorel-Hlavka – “political and personal liberties guaranteed in the Constitution”.
    The thing is that the Commonwealth Constitution is a document almost purely concerned with the division of state-federal powers. There are very few “political and personal liberties” that are guaranteed in the constitution that you can fight for.
    If you read the cases that have read implied rights into the constitution, you see that the reasoning behind such rights are weak, which furthers my notion here.
    For instance, the High Court argued (more or less), in Lange v ABC (1997) that because the Constitution gave the Commonwealth power to govern over communications, there was therefore a right to freedom of communication? Huh? Like I said, very weak reasoning. Have a read over at Austlii if you don’t believe me.
    The drafters of the Constitution, in their wisdom, saw that there was no need to have an entrenched Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Let’s not go overboard in implying rights and let’s certainly not call the Constitution a protector of rights. That’s not what it is for, thank God.

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