Friday, July 06, 2007

Some truth about invasion of Iraq

THE PRIME Minister has proffered many reasons to justify Australia's participation in the American-led invasion of Iraq. Yesterday he advanced a new one: the need to secure a major oil supply. In an address to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute yesterday, John Howard said the Middle East was crucial to Australia's strategic and economic future because "our major ally and our most important economic partners have crucial interests there".

It has long been suspected that oil, and the United States' almost pathological need to secure reliable supplies for its domestic needs, was one of the main factors behind President George W. Bush's decision to to invade Iraq but neither he nor Howard broached the subject when they began talking up overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2002.

Instead, the US and its allies insisted their motives on Iraq's future were honourable. They wanted to rid the Middle East of a wicked despot, deny al-Qaeda a base from which to export terrorism to the world, and nurture a new democracy that would act as a reforming influence on the region's many autocratic regimes. And if the invasion succeeded in ensuring that Iraqi oil should flow more freely to the US and other customers, well that would be an unexpected though welcome development.

Perhaps because all the justifications for invasion have been largely discredited, the Prime Minister now argues that securing Iraqi oil (not for Australia but for the US and "our most important economic partners") is an important reason to stay the course in Iraq.

At least it has the ring of truth about it unlike the revolving and evolving list of reasons given for invading and occupying Iraq.


from The Canberra Times

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