Thursday, September 26, 2002

OLD DUFFERS

Paul Kelly is the spruiking the letter from a group of oldsters making a new career of going wobbly.

At least one of them, former Prime Minister Robert James Lee Hawke, is a bit confused about what constitutes a good outcome. He is in no doubt about the risks:
If there is a unilateral attack, then I believe that weapons of mass destruction could be unleashed.

Since the attack is on Iraq, then the use of WMD is referring to an Iraqi response. Oddly, Hawke can simultaneously be certain of a WMD response by Iraq, but still raise doubts on the existence of the arsenal.:
The issue is whether Saddam Hussein has been able to weaponise biological material

Hawke goes on to defend his role as Prime Minister in the first Gulf War:
"I held long talks at that time with President Bush about going to Baghdad and we agreed that you couldn't do it. We acted in the war and in the limit of the war within the terms of the UN."

And hasn’t it worked out well for everybody involved? Saddam is still in charge, the Iraqi people are worse off than pre-1991. Terror is funded through the Palestinians and who knows where else. Saddam continues to acquire WMD, continues to be a threat to his neighbours, and a destabilising influence through the world.

Bob, there are few of today’s problems that can’t be sheeted home to the fact that the UN forces didn’t roll over Iraq when they had the chance. With hindsight, we can see that was a Mistake. It is not a move to be proud of.

Question: to all those who yelled for action in East Timor: what if the UN had turned us down? Should we have stood by or gone in regardless? How is this different?

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