Tuesday, January 10, 2006
A strategy for peace?
I lost my faith and trust in Kim Beazley at the time of Tampa and the children overboard affair. The failure to open a debate and a point of view of integrity lost me completely. Clearly, the stance was poll driven - but what price a leader who chooses the line of least resistance in the face of the bigotry of a Prime Minister, a government, and a nation? For the first time since I can't remember when, I can applaud something Beazley says. Let's open open a constructive debate on what benefit our presence in Iraq does provide or should provide. What are we trying to achieve? Are we merely trying to be little Mr Tag-along to the US and their views and their decision making? Or do we really want to build our own independent relationship with Iraq? If the latter is the case, then we had better start talking about it and looking at how the future will be built. This is vital in view of the fact that the Bush administration has scaled back its ambitions to rebuild Iraq from the devastation wrought by war and dictatorship and does not intend to seek new funds for reconstruction. The US has shown impatience and incompetence with regard to nation building. Instance Afghanistan. But is this how Australians want to be? Do we really want to go down the Bush/US path. It is time for some mature thinking, grown-up debate. We have our own interests to pursue in trade and international relations. We have citizens and permanent residents in our country of Iraqi origin. There is a life after regime change and oil wars. Let's take off the blinkers of cultural cringe and obeisance to the US and look to the future - a future for ourselves and for Iraq.