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Australia finally quits Iraq

sadr-calls4.6 million Iraqi dead, 1990-2011

Australia has been involved in Iraqi Sanctions and the Iraq War since 1990 (4.6 million Iraqi war-related deaths in the period 1990-2011) but has just withdrawn its last remaining soldiers, replacing them with Chilean mercenaries to guard the Australian embassy. Australia must be held to account for its complicity in the carnage in Iraq. Australia (complicit in war-related deaths totaling  in 4.6 million and 5.0 million in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively) should be excluded from the Olympic Games as was Apartheid South Africa from 1962-1992 (69 dead in the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa). 

Australia started its involvement in Iraq in 1990, assisting the US impose deadly Sanctions on Iraq (1990-2011, under Labor PMs Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Coalition PM John Howard ) and assisting the US in the Gulf War. In the Sanctions period (1990-2003) Iraqi violent deaths totaled 0.2 million, non-violent war-related deaths from deprivation totaled 1.7 million and under-5 year old infant deaths totaled 1.2 million (90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes in gross violation of the Geneva Convention).

On about 19 March 2003 under Coalition PM John Howard, Australian forces joined US and UK forces in invading Iraq. In 2011 a war-devastated Iraq remains occupied by US forces. In the post-invasion period 2003-2011 there have been 1.5 million violent deaths, 1.2 million non-violent avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation, 0.8 million under-5 infant deaths (90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes in gross violation of the Geneva Convention), and 5-6 million refugees.

Overall, in the period 1990-2011, there have been 4.6 million war-related deaths, the breakdown being 1.7 million violent deaths, 2.9 million non-violent avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation, 2.0 million under-5 infant deaths (90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes in gross violation of the Geneva Convention), and 5-6 million refugees –an Iraqi Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention (for  details and documentation see “Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide”).

Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention states: ““In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” Note that serial killers and mass murderers rarely confess but “intent” can be established by the evidence of sustained, remorseless conduct, as with the US Alliance in Iraq in the period 1990-2011. Indeed the Iraqi carnage is continuing.

The Australian contingent in Occupied Iraq rose to about 2,000 but this was largely withdrawn under Labor PM Kevin Rudd (PM, 2007-2010) and the last 17 of 33 Australian troops who were guarding the Australian embassy in Iraq were withdrawn on about 10 August 2011 under Labor PM Julia Gillard and a Dubai-based private security firm Unity Resources Group (URG) has taken over. URG , with around 60 Chilean military veterans, was involved in the shooting of 72-year-old Australian Professor Kays Juma in March 2006 (see “Australia withdraws troops guarding Iraq embassy”, ABC News, 10 August 2011).

Dennis Halliday (born in Ireland, 1941) was the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq from September 1, 1997, until 1998. He resigned after 34 years with the UN, including being UN assistant secretary-general, over the Sanctions imposed on Iraq, characterizing them as “genocide”: "We are now in there responsible for killing people, destroying their families, their children, allowing their older parents to die for lack of basic medicines…We're in there allowing children to die who were not born yet when Saddam Hussein made the mistake of invading Kuwait… For me what is tragic, in addition to the tragedy of Iraq itself, is the fact that the United Nations Security Council member states ... are maintaining a program of economic sanctions deliberately, knowingly killing thousands of Iraqis each month. And that definition fits genocide".

The eminent US Just Foreign Policy organization issued the following statement on horrendous 1.5 million post-invasion deaths in Occupied Iraq (August 2011): “Sign the petition telling Congress that about a million Iraqis have likely been killed since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Help us expose to Congress the true costs of war. A study, published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet, estimated that over 600,000 Iraqis had been killed as a result of the invasion as of July 2006. Iraqis have continued to be killed since then. The death counter provides a rough daily update of this number based on a rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count …The estimate that over a million Iraqis have died received independent confirmation from a prestigious British polling agency in January 2008. Opinion Research Business estimated that the death toll between March 2003 and August 2007 was 1,033,000. This devastating human toll demands greater recognition. It eclipses the Rwandan genocide and our leaders are directly responsible. Little wonder they do not publicly cite it”.

The major Australian parties, the Liberal -National Party Coalition and Labor (collectively known as the Lib-Labs) are politically correct racist (PC racist) in declaring that they have been bringing democracy to Iraq while in actuality having been involved in this immense atrocity that has now reached the numerical dimensions of the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) (see Professor Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas” and “Atlas of the Holocaust:”).

Indeed search for the terms “Iraqi Holocaust” and “Iraqi Genocide” on the taxpayer-funded ABC (Australia’s equivalent of the UK BBC) and you will find zero (0) results from the “entire ABC site”. A similar search of The Australian newspaper (national flagship of the Murdoch News Corp in Australia) also yields zero (0) results for these terms.  Australia has simultaneously been involved in huge, war-imposed carnage in Iraq and denial of the atrocity – a compelling reason to Boycott Murdoch media and similarly deficient Australian and global Mainstream media (see “Boycott Murdoch Media”).

Former president of the highly conservative Australian Liberal Party, John Valder, called for the prosecution of Australian Liberal PM John Howard for war crimes in Iraq: “Bush, Blair, and Howard, as leaders of the three members of the coalition of the willing, inflicted enormous suffering on the people of Iraq. And, as such, they are criminals. I believe the only deterrent to a repetition of the Iraq situation is punishment in some form as war criminals" (see “Howard is war criminal says former colleague”, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 July 2004).

Similarly, Jewish British writer Harold Pinter in his 2005 Literature Nobel Prize Acceptance speech stated: “The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading as a last resort all other justifications having failed to justify themselves as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people. We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it 'bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East'. How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice”. 4.6 million? More than enough, I would have thought

Former Australian Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wilkie resigned his job an intelligence officer with the Office of National Assessments (ONA) just before the invasion if Iraq, stating that the Australian Government had no evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. US president George W Bush, British PM Tony Blair and Australian PM John Howard all gave Iraq's possession of such WMDs as a reason for the invasion but no concrete evidence existed for the WMD and no WMD were found post-invasion. Australian hero Andrew Wilkie is now an Independent MP (for the electorate of Denison in Hobart, Tasmania) and wants former PM John Howard and former foreign minister Alexander Downer to explain to a parliamentary inquiry why Australia sent troops to Iraq in 2003. However it is unlikely that the Iraqi Genocide-complicit Lib-Labs will permit such an inquiry (see: “Wilkie wants Howard to front Iraq inquiry”, ABC News, 11 August 2011). Since the International Criminal Court has no evident intention of trying the culprits, it has itself become complicit in the war crimes of the US Alliance and Australia. There is an urgent need for eminent scholars and lawyers to set up a war crimes commission to try those responsible for the carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan. The punishment of the perpetrators will simply be formal, expert exposure as mass murderers.

In summary, Australia has finally withdrawn its last soldiers from Occupied Iraq after participating in the devastation of Iraq for 21 years (1990-2011, 4.6 million war-related deaths, 2.0 million under-5 infant deaths, 5-6 million refugees). The International Criminal Court has no evident intention of trying the culprits and has thus become complicit in the Iraqi carnage and other atrocities of the US Alliance and Australia. There is an urgent need for war crimes trials for those responsible for the carnage in Iraq and related atrocities of Australia and the US Alliance.

Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Decent people around the World must (a) inform everyone they can about the horrendous deaths in Iraq and (b) impose sanctions and boycotts on the people, politicians, corporations and countries involved in the Iraq War and like atrocities. Sanctions and Boycotts were successfully applied against Apartheid South Africa over its racist policies after the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre (69 dead), including exclusion from the Olympic Games (1962-1992). Australia, the UK, the US and other US Alliance countries should be excluded from the Olympic Games for complicity in the continuing carnage in Iraq (4.6 million war-related deaths, 1990-2011).  

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