Tuesday, November 11, 2003

We're not warlike, and that's why we'll keep fighting: "In a speech due to be delivered early this morning, Mr Howard said Australians were not a warlike people but accepted their responsibility to fight to defend democratic principles and the concept of personal freedom around the world."

"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Australia's peacekeeping efforts in East Timor were the most clear contemporary demonstrations of that national ethos, he said." Mr Howard said wars of the type his audience knew had been replaced by the new and brutal challenge of terrorism.

"The coming years will present every society with challenges that none of us could have contemplated even three years ago," Mr Howard said. "Australia will play its part. We will continue to determine our own future in our own independent way."

The action in East Timor had the approval of the United Nations and Indonesia, and could not have gone ahead without that approval; there was no link between Saddam and terrorism; and the participation of Australia in the war on Iraq was essentially decided by neoconservatives in Washington, not in Australia.

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