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Iraq Dossier

Yesterday, 25 September 2002, I read the 50 page Iraq Dossier. Its disturbing.

Prominent Australians, including former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, have written to newspapers:

"... We put this conviction directly and unequivocally: it would constitute a failure of the duty of government to protect the integrity and ensure the security of our nation to commit any Australian forces in support of a United States military offensive against Iraq without the backing of a specific United Nations Security Council resolution."

Paul Kelly wrote in The Australian yesterday:

"... Consider this: if Hussein prefers a war to his WMD disarmament, then what horrors does he have in mind?"

On 9 September in his "Letter From America" Allistair Cooke quoted Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626):

"Armouries, stored arsenals, walled towns, goodly races of horse, chariots of war, elephants, ordnance, artillery and the like - all this is but a sheep in a lion's skin unless the breed and disposition of the people be stout and warlike.

"Nay, numbers in armies matter little where the people is of weak courage. For, as Virgil says, it never troubles a wolf how many the sheep be."

In today's editorial The Age included:

"... Even in taking on a dictator who has flouted every rule, civilised nations must observe the rules or be guilty of undermining them. ..."

Cardinal Ratzinger was reported by zenit.org on 22 September:

... He said that "the U.N. can be criticized" from several points of view, but "it is the instrument created after the war for the coordination -- including moral -- of politics."

The "concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Cardinal Ratzinger noted. ...

I saw an interview with the former weapons inspector Richard Butler on the 7.30 Report on 17 September. He was asked what his worst fear was:

You know, my worst fear is that Iraq will actually play the pea-and-thimble game, the pea-and-shell game again and that it will break down and there will be a war. And that war will get bogged down and principle number one is that America doesn't lose, not this one. And so the weaponry that will be used will escalate to a terrible level. That's my worst fear. I would rather see us solve this problem by non-military means, through international law and prove that the world can work around cooperation and law, not just the ancient principle that might is right. That's a bad principle.

I am impressed by the contribution of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on the challenges in doing this in "Rule of law at heart of fight against terror".

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 26 September 2002.

Other Sites:

Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government

Paul Kelly "Only Hussein Can Halt Slide to War"

Letter From America 9 September

Richard Butler interview on 7.30 Report of 17 September

Rule of law at heart of fight against terror, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin