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Friday, July 06, 2007

Iraq and oil: Brendan Nelson and Louise Barry

OIL PIPELINE FIRE — A U.S. Army soldier performs perimeter security during a reconnaissance patrol by the 66th Armor Battalion in an area where a recent insurgent attack took place on an Iraqi oil pipeline near Taji, Iraq, March 1, 2006. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Larson . From Defend America.

Crikey has, this afternoon, drawn our attention to a significant opinion piece by U.S. media figure, Keith Olberman. The transcript is published by and is available here. Some of the comment took Miss Eagle's breath away - but, in her view, it is all fair comment.

When something comes to our attention, we place it in our own context of time, place, experience. This comes to attention at a time when the Australian government is handling two negative statements in regard to Australia's participation in the Iraq war:

  1. Louise Barry's advertisement supporting the concept that Australian involvement in Iraq brings terrorism to our doorstep; and

  2. Ministerial comments which say aloud that the Iraq war is about oil and from which the Minister for Defence, Brendan Nelson, now resiles.

Large sections of the Australian polity have always doubted the wisdom of Australia's participation in the Iraq invasion/adventure. Hundreds of thousands of Australians took to the streets. Australians viewed UN approval as crucial to an Australian presence in the Coalition of the Willing. When this approval was not forthcoming, and Australia committed to participation, the edge went from the debate against participation in the war. Australians took on the attitude that our troops are now there, let's support them.

But the Iraq adventure has taken us beyond that. Australians want their men and women home. Australians are well aware of the idiocy and corruption of the Bush/Cheney regime. Australians have been taken into the milieu of what is arguably the most corrupt and unanswerable presidency in the history of the United States of America. We are supporting a corrupt regime in the United States and self-interested inhumanity in Iraq.

Into that context, have come the words of Keith Olberman. Olberman is not a household name in Australia but his words are currently being passed around across the continent by email and blog. Miss E received an email from a friend as she began to post on this topic.

It is time to listen: it is a matter of life and death.