Australia has been involved in the current war in Iraq since March 2003. Troops were withdrawn from an active combat role in June 2008, following the election of the Labour government in November 2007.
Australia was involved from the start as a nation in the US-led "Coalition of the Willing". Our involvement has been consistently controversial and deeply unpopular within much of Australian society.
MAPW opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning.
In the lead up to the war, MAPW helped launch an international report titled "Collateral Damage: the health and environmental effects of waron Iraq - 2002" This report predicted a credible war scenario from current US military strategy, and estimated that conflict with Iraq could cause half a million deaiths and have a devastating impact on the lives, health and environment of the combatants, Iraqi civilians, and people in neighbouring countries and beyond.
This report was followed in 2004 by another titled "Continuing Collateral Damage: The health and environmental costs of war on Iraq 2003" and further reports such as the most recent "Conflict fuels Iraqi health crisis - Iraq Update Spring 2006".
In September 2007, MAPW and the NSW Council of Civil Liberties undertook a Galaxy Poll which found that the majority (52%) of Australians believe that George Bush is the worst US president in history because of his role in instigating the war in Iraq. The poll asked a sample of 1,100 respondents distributed throughout Australia whether they agreed with the recent description by former US President Carter of Bush as “the worst US president in history’.
In 2006, MAPW helped host a visiting Iraqi medical professional in a nationwide tour of Australia. Dr Salam Ismael was representing Doctors for Iraq, a group established post-invasion in 2003 in Iraq. Dr Ismael spoke to groups of medical professionals, students and concerned communities around the country, as well as being escorted by MAPW members in a parliamentary lobby tour.
MAPW related policies: