Noel Hadjimichael is Webdiary’s conservative columnist.
After reading Media don’t get it on Latham and Iraq, I feel I must reply to the misinformation campaign peddled by those who cannot accept that the Iraq deployment had and has sound economic, social justice, humanitarian and strategic value to Australia�s national interests. Enough is enough!
Mainstream Australia rejects any guilt or shame over having powerful allies, doing the job in Iraq, continuing the humanitarian and security mission commenced or pursuing our national interests. To do otherwise would be foolish and wrong.
When extremists use free speech to peddle misinformation, others must respond. Let’s look at some of the claims floating around and offer some reality:
Claim 1: All the main players are missing the point of the ADF deployment in Iraq and are blinded by �boys toys� bravado. The ADF projects Australia�s national policies. We were part of the Coalition of the Willing and have a moral/strategic responsibility to bring Iraq under UN-approved democratic rule with a minimum level of public safety. It would be a gutless government that pulled out now, leaving our key allies, the US and the UK, isolated.
Claim 2: The Howard government has acted in an despicable manner in involving public servants in political combat. Shock horror, Government fights Opposition hard. Voters know that the media will pick up the slimmest hint of difference to berate any government over leaks, division or scandal. The heroes of the Left like FDR, John Kennedy, Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating all played politics hard. This is not kindergarten rules.
Claim 3: Dead people have been dragged around the streets of Iraq by people traumatised by the threat of the US stealing land, oil and sovereignty. War produces brutality and pain. It also produces ideological liars and distorted truths. Are the insurgents freedom fighters or disgruntled advocates of anti-Western terror? I don’t believe the US has stolen any land or oil (Iraq�s new government has that covered). I believe the US would dearly like to hand over control to a sustainable sovereign state. Iraq is not a colony; it was a victim of a tyrannical despot.
Claim 4: Iraq suffered genocide due to Western policies over 12 years. Iraq suffered from a dictatorship that made its people suffer whilst the ruling class lived in splendour. The genocidal killings of Kurds and marshland Arabs were not the West�s doing. The trade embargo was a necessary constraint.
Claim 5: Aussie troops protect diplomats whilst they negotiate blood soaked trade deals. Show me the blood on wheat, technology and services agreements that will feed, skill and enhance the Iraq economy and its people.
Claim 6: The closure of our diplomatic mission in Iraq led to refugees on our doorstep. Travelling from Iraq to Ashmore Reef via illegal transactions at high cost is a hell of a strategy to get to Australia. Nice try to make ordinary Australians feel guilty about people smugglin, but it will not wash.
Claim 7: We have helped to murder 1 million innocents. Take a thousand Australians and read them that statement and 990 of them will reject that ugly and dishonest statement. Ten will believe any lie to feel good about being white, middle class, wealthy and radical in a world of poverty, discord and uncertainty.