Monday, February 24, 2003

Woolcott warns against Australian isolation and 'myths' justifying the war
"The chances of the United Nations Security Council passing a resolution explicitly authorising an attack on Iraq were minimal"

"In a stinging criticism, Mr Woolcott debunked five "myths" which, he said, the Government relied on to support its position on Iraq. The first was that Iraq presented a threat to Australia's interests. It had been "perfectly well contained" for more than a decade and, if it presented a threat to anyone, it was not Australia. Second, that failure to agree to war would render the UN irrelevant. In fact, the Security Council had been hamstrung by superpower rivalries for most of its history and, before Iraq, a number of nations, particularly Israel, had got away with being "serial resolution defiers".

"The third myth, Mr Woolcott said, was that Australia's deployment of troops was not a
commitment to war. This was a deception of the people by the Federal Government, more serious than that of the "children-overboard" affair. The fourth government-sponsored myth was that Australia enjoyed the broad support of the world. The fifth was that going to war against Iraq was in Australia's national interest."

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