MAPW supports Wilkie's call for Iraq war inquiry

15 August 2011, Canberra Times: Letter from MAPW's Dr Sue Wareham OAM
Andrew Wilkie’s call for an inquiry into Australia’s participation in the 2003 invasion of Iraq (“Wilkie calls for Howard to answer questions over Iraq”, CT August 11) should be applauded and supported.

The possibility that there will be no accountability for the catastrophic decision that took us to war – a decision that undermined international law, helped bring terror to countless children and other civilians, aided the destruction of a nation, and is likely to have raised Australia’s profile as a terrorist target - beggars belief.

 And all this on the basis of lies. We joined a nation with around 10,000 nuclear weapons in attacking a nation that had none. It seems that the very magnitude of the disaster is such that we can deal with it only by trying to forget.

 The people of Iraq do not have the luxury of forgetting however. Theirs are the lives shattered, bodies and minds maimed, homes destroyed, and environments polluted by war’s detritus. All this was predicted before the war. We cannot hide behind the term “collateral damage” as if that lessens the suffering. A decision was made that the people of Iraq must bear these costs, and no Australian has been called to account for that decision.

 Many claim that Australia has matured as a nation by virtue of our participation in wars. Whatever one thinks of that view, perhaps our maturity can be judged by how readily we examine our own failings as a nation, including the most grievous of them.

Dr Sue Wareham
Immediate Past President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)

  • MAPW has already called for such an inquiry.
  • We have set up a Facebook "cause" supporting an inquiry, which we urge you to view and sign.