So is John Howard a War Criminal? I'm surprised to see that a small majority of my readers disagree with me on this. With less than 24 hours left to vote in my online poll, most readers seem to think that Howard is just "a chronic liar and a Big Business patsy".
So for anyone still not sure, or wanting to change their vote, let me spell it out for you.
At the end of WWII, the civilised nations of this earth - including Australia - signed off on a bunch of international laws which were intended to ensure that nobody would ever again be able to invade another soveriegn nation with impunity. Four and a half years ago, however, Australian troops were on the ground in Iraq before war had even been formally declared. We supported George W. Bush's criminal invasion of Iraq based on fabricated WMD evidence that was deliberately "fixed around the policy" of invasion.
That is a War Crime. It really is that simple.
There were also international postwar laws agreed on the treatment of prisoners. I would argue that the whole concept of this bogus "war" on terror is a legal and linguistic farce, but given that our government has embraced it wholeheartedly, they ought to have given proper protection, in accordance with these laws, to any and all alleged prisoners of war, including David Hicks and Mahmoud Habib. According to the Howard government's own logic, and the laws to which our nation is a signatory, not to have done so is a War Crime.
Nobody is asking Kevin Rudd if he will open investigations into these matters, if and when he wins government, because nobody seriously expects him to answer the question honestly. Furthermore, the invasion of Iraq was largely orchestrated by the US industrial-military complex to which Kevin Rudd PM will also be beholden. But you can be damned sure that many of us - myself included - will continue pushing for justice on these matters.
This is an issue that will follow John Howard all the way to the grave.