5 Aug. 2007

Dear Mister Howard

Wow. Our hip young PM is going interactive! It's very exciting! And he is going to answer five - count 'em, five! - whole questions from real plebs like you and me!

So here are my five simple questions:

1. Up to a million Iraqis are now dead as a direct result of your illegal pre-emptive invasion of their country. Another 5 million are displaced, the nation's electricity system is on the point of collapse, children are dying because of a lack of clean water, and there are no clear prospects for a better future on the horizon. Isn't it well past time that all those responsible for this disaster akcnowledged their guilt and withdrew their voices from the decision-making process?

2. You have repeatedly claimed that the decision to invade Iraq was made on the basis of the best intelligence available at the time, and that Australian intelligence agencies, like their counterparts in the US and UK, were mis-informed about Saddam's WMDs. If that is so, why were whistle-blowers like the ONA's Andrew Wilkie, and DFAT's Trent Smith, not just ignored but actively vilified? Why did the government ignore pre-war information from the British Government's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which said a war with Iraq would actually increase the global threat of terrorist WMDs? Is it not true that you and your cabinet have actively conspired, against the interests of the Australian people, to ignore and suppress any evidence contrary to your own pro-war spin?

3. You were in the USA on September 11th, 2001, meeting with President Bush and then dining with Rupert Murdoch on the day before the attacks. You visited the White House again in June 13th, 2002, just a week after Tony Blair had visited Bush’s Crawford ranch. While you have always denied that you committed Australian forces to an Iraq invasion at this stage, it has now been conclusively proven that Bush himself was already fully committed to an invasion. For example, six of the leaked Downing Street memos detail frenzied meetings between senior US and UK officials, "fixing the intelligence" around the policy of an invasion in the month before your 2002 US visit. Can it really be trued that neither you nor any of your ministers was aware of Bush's invasion plans, and if so, what does that say about the nature of our relationship with the US and UK governments, and their intelligence agencies?

4. Australian troops had already invaded Iraq before we officially declared war, and before Bush’s public ultimatum to Saddam had even expired. According to International laws to which Australia remains a signatory, is that not a War Crime? Given that former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan himself has declared the Iraq War an illegal war of choice, does that not make you a War Criminal?

5. You have often claimed that our nation's involvement in the Iraq War is in the best long-term interests of the Australian people. Is that really true, or have you just painted yourself into a corner? Given that there is now widespread evidence that our involvement in Iraq is not only making Australia a more dangerous place, but also exacerbating the real threat of terrorism worldwide, are you suggesting that the economic benefits of sucking up to the US military-industrial establishment outweigh any such dangers, or any moral concerns?

Unfortunately, the Yahoo Answers website only allows users to post ONE question, so maybe readers can help me out? (You will need to set up a Yahoo account if you don't have one).