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Only the dead have seen the end of it, John

Those with long memories will recall that Sir Robert Menzies said that he had received, in the form of a letter, an official invitation from the South Vietnam government to participate in the war against the communist North. When the cabinet papers were released thirty years later it was disclosed that no such letter existed. 521young Australian men lost their lives in a war that Menzies said was in our national interest.

It was a despicable lie.

Prime Minister John Howard went to war in Iraq based on information he repeatedly said was true. That being that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

It was a despicable lie.

In an interview he said he felt embarrassed when he had found out that there were no such weapons. There wasn’t a hint of regret that, as a result of his shared decision 195,000 innocent people lost their lives.

In a piece for the Canberra times Georgina Mitchell quotes Paul Keating.

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has called for John Howard to “hang his head in shame” over his involvement in the Iraq War, which he says brought “the spectre of terrorism and racial strife” to Australia.

The Chilcot report, released on Wednesday, found the flawed intelligence should have been challenged but wasn’t, and the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction”, which were never found, was presented to the public with “a certainty that was not justified.”

“I defend that decision. I don’t retreat from it. I don’t believe that, on the basis of the information that was available to me, it was the wrong decision. I really don’t,” Mr Howard said.

Surely when confronted with a decision of the magnitude he was facing he would have asked this question or one similar of all our defence agencies.

“Can you give me a 100% assurance that the information is correct? That Iraq has weapons of mass destruction? If you cannot then I cannot in all conscience send our troops to war.”

It would appear that he did not and simply followed George W Bush into a war that many years later is still haunting us.

I agree with Keating: Howard should hang his head in shame.

My thought for the day

Only the dead have seen the end of war.

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  1. thebustopher

    Howard was so cocky at that press conference yesterday. He hopes we’ll forgive him and forget all about his ridiculous “pre-deployment” of forces in the Arabian Sea while swearing to the public “we weren’t going to war”. I suppose he increased the technological means of removing paving paint from Opera House roof tiles.

  2. etnorb

    Typical inept, lying Liberal, hogwart, does not even offer up a “sorry” or any other platitude that fits-with regard to following that in-bred flat earth lying Republican Bush into invading Iraq–where it was found that there were “no weapons of mass-destruction”! Of course we all realise that hogwart loved & followed that pig-iron bob everywhere, including lying to the Australian public, & then both of them involving us in the Vietnam war, & then the Iraqi (supposed) “conflict”! Shame, shame, shame hogwart–now that dairy clinch is in the Senate we may hear more of this man’s “favorite” saying! And I wonder if he will use it against fcking hogwart?

  3. Freethinker

    Back in time, in 2003
    Part of the transcript of Prime Minister John Howard’s National Press Club appearance:

    “My ultimate responsibility is the security of the Australian people. The humanitarian issues at stake in relation to Iraq do occupy my mind. And one key aspect of that that appears to have escaped scrutiny is the enormous humanitarian cost, not least to the people of Iraq, of Saddam Hussein remaining in charge. Even if you believed that the failing policy of containment will continue to protect the world from possible danger from Iraq, and I don’t, but even if you did, that policy’s continuation would do nothing to relieve the suffering of the people of Iraq, it will do nothing to provide them with a more hopeful, happy and peaceful life. Perhaps it’s become unpalatable or unfashionable to be reminded that the Iraqi people are oppressed by this current regime. There is no chance of normalcy in a nation where torture and rape and genocide and killing are standard practice.”

    Well Mr Howard, you have created more suffering, perhaps a perpetual in Iraq and the region.

  4. jim

    Is the ABC computer operated by the IPA as well,
    Anyways,opine; ,I’m gutted by the fact that the IPA has filtered into the ABC,SBS, PLUS controls or is heavily heavily heavily favored by the rightwing LNP, I’m very gutted by the fact that Australians ie. us, allow this to continue Hoping we all boycott MSM,…..I’m gutted and angry, funny that the Libs have held power about 22 years longer than any other party.yet their lying record of better economic managers is astounding Have a great day.
    Free thinker I tried to listen to howard but cound’t no way.

  5. jim

    Howard the USA lapdog/yes-man I can see him now grunting like a pig signing human life away he wouldn’t of given it a thought sickening.

  6. michael lacey

    They should be tried as war criminals!
    If have to look at the make up of the Chilcot inquiry –
    Sir John Chilcot Member of the Butler Inquiry which whitewashed the fabrication of evidence of Iraqi WMD. Sir Roderick Lyne a good friend and former jogging partner of Alastair Campbell. Sir Lawrence Freedman is the most appalling choice of all. The patron saint of “Justified” wars of aggression, and exponent of “Wars of Choice” and “Humanitarian Intervention”. Sir Martin Gilbert (died in course of the Inquiry) .Very right wing historian whose biography of Churchill focussed on Gilbert’s relish for war. Baroness Prashar a governor of the FCO institution the Ditchley Foundation – of which the Director is Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK Ambassador to the UN who presented the lies about Iraqi WMD and was intimately involved in the lead in to war.
    Given a more independent group they would be facing trial!

  7. Barbara Farrelly

    So, lying is in the Liberal’s DNA going back to Menzies.

    It’s self serving and disingenuous of John Howard to defend his reputation above the need to find out why we went to war on a lie.

    Chilcot was unambiguous when he concluded, ‘hindsight was not required’.

    Australia doesn’t debate going to war in our Parliament, nor do we even ratify any decision to go to war.

    This proves our PM has too much power and too little accountability.

    Abbott was a military adventurist itching to send troops to the Ukraine, Nigeria and Syria. Imagine if his party hadn’t kicked him out when they did?

    If Howard had trusted the Australian people who opposed invading Iraq, ISIS would not today exist.

    Suck on that you rotten little man; botoxed and bronzed and brazen in your lies.

    I’m surprised Leigh Sales saw anything to admire in the way Howard lurched into the limelight to defend the indefensible.

    But hey, is a man who refused to apologise to Australia’s First Nation, even capable of reflection and remorse?

  8. Freethinker

    I just wonder what the fellow bloggers think about the policies of the current government regarding a similar conflict between USA and North Korea ?
    John Howard back in 2003 at the Press Club said, quote:
    “Ladies and gentlemen, the world, particularly our own region, is rightly concerned about North Korea. North Korea has blatantly violated its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and so far from the challenge of North Korea, overshadowing the challenge of Iraq, it adds greater urgency and relevance to Iraq. Because if the world cannot disarm Iraq it has no hope of disciplining North Korea. If the Security Council fails the Iraqi test it will not pass the test of North Korea. These reasons for our direct and urgent commitment to the cause of disarming Iraq must be seen against the background of the different world in which we now all live.” End of Quote

    It is a bit of a worry IMO………

  9. kasch2014

    Australian and Canadian Prime Ministers were given speeches by US interests which they repeated verbatim to announce the start of direct involvement in Iraq. I’ve seen them side by side on youtube. We have no Australian Government, just a media generated scam which exploits the laziness, corruption, indifference and superficial sentimentality of so many Australians.

  10. Carlos Weinman

    John Howard .A little leach of a little so called man!!!!!!!!

  11. Margaret McMillan

    Blix was hounded every time he said that there were no weapons on the ground in Iraq, but we should also remember the way Howard treated Andrew Wilkie for saying that Howard’s claims had no relationship to the evidence. Rather than listen to him (or to the thousands who marched against the war), Howard trashed Wilkie’s reputation.

    So no, I don’t believe he acted on the best evidence he had at the time.

  12. Jorge Roshkov

    We seem to be the tail that wags when ever the American doglet wags its backside!!!
    Menzies actually BEGGED to participate .. the 521 dead have PEACE .. but the thousands who are STILL suffering from this debacle have NOT found peace!!
    Now with Howard … disarming Australian citizens, but assisting in the destruction of a sovereign country which had never lifted an eyebrow against us, claiming “clear conscience” …??
    Keating himself is not blameless …. the Kuwaitis were stealing Iraq oil by using the same drilling techniques that are employed in fracking, and he HAD A GREEN LIGHT FROM THE US AMBASSADOR to kick their backsides…..
    So what justification there was from Keating’s perspective I cannot fathom…..
    It was only after Bush got 8 BILLION from the Kuwaiti and Saudi govt that he got involved … in fact the exercise from our point, cost us heaps, as we had to pay for the American bombs that we dropped!!!!!


  13. Gangey1959

    Little johnny the coward.
    EX prime minister of Australia, and recipient of an EX prime ministerial pension.
    Why, oh why do our journo’s even talk to the miserable sack of shit, let alone ask his opinion on stuff ?
    He should be thankful that he gets the amount of money that he does, and not do anything to rock the boat, cos some of us might suggest removing his income.
    May he rot in Hell.

  14. Jamess

    Great information, should be in every letter box. The description – politician, corrupt minion.

  15. Harquebus

    One must have a conscience to feel shame. The little man big liar represents everything that is despicable in our political system. He was the worst treasurer that we ever had and went on to become the worst Prime Minister that we have ever had.

    “While stitching a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, whose hand was caught in the squeeze gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.

    Eventually the topic got around to politicians and their role as our leaders.
    The old farmer said, “Well, as I see it, most politicians are ‘Post Tortoises’.
    Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post tortoise’ was.
    The old farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a tortoise balanced on top, that’s a post tortoise.”
    The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain.

    “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function,and you just wonder what kind of dumb arse put him up there to begin with.””

  16. Klaus

    The Germans did not go to war because our intel had no evidence of weapons of mass destructions. Furthermore, that info was shared with the British and the UN.

    All was ignored, because the so called ‘Intel’ was manufactured and I have little doubt, that at least the hapless mob Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush. I am sure, Tony Blair knew, as well as our good old Johnny. Perhaps he was left out of the real circle of power and that we will never find out. By the British and the US knew full well what it was that needed to be achieved. These people are war criminals, pure and simple.

  17. brian leehy

    and JH should publicly apologise for the deaths of Australians in Bali

  18. Phil

    I read Howard’s speech as posted above – illuminating to say the least. Grossly lopsided in its pitch. America the Great and Glorious and Oh So Innocent world power under siege from malign forces that hate its/our values – and the urgency of eliminating the imaginary “weapons of mass destruction”. That term alone should have set alarm bells ringing in every critical thinkers mind – its chock full of nasty, hyperbolic threat – propaganda writ large.

    Weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Andrew Wilkie – both skilled, level headed, clear thinking operators knew the status of the Iraqi weapons program and told it as it was – nothing to see – but that was not the story that Bush and Wolfowitz wanted to hear – and so they were vilified, slandered and attacked by Howard and Bush et al – I knew then that lies were being constructed and the truth tellers were being strategically undermined and moved aside.

    Howard’s is a rambling dissertation that travels all over the globe once Howard has established his straw man of a mass destruction weapons cache – from there he argues the all too familiar ‘dominoes theory’ – that we have to nip the “weapons of mass destruction” and terrorist threat ‘in the bud’ lest it all becomes a global conflagration. He answers a journalist’s question by claiming that Iraq is a “rogue state” – a claim that segues so easily from his straw man proposition.

    Personally I’d prefer we had retained the ‘rogue state’ even though it was not in fact a ‘rogue state’ rather than have gotten what Howard, Blair and Bush gave us i.e. a failed Iraqi state in endless factional war, a firestorm of Sunni vs Shia across the middle east, and of course ISIS.

    Howard argued that unless the US and its allies immediately invaded Iraq, then ‘terrorists’ like Bin Laden would get access to the mythic chemical weapons and then later to nuclear weapons – his arguments rambled throughout dozens of countries even into North Korea. Once his straw man had been constructed he could and he did waffle on about an escalating global catastrophe – how ironic then that this is exactly what his decision actually contributed to rather than stopping.

    He should be tried for his part in the war crime of an unprovoked attack of a sovereign nation that gave no reliable evidence of a threat to any nation let alone the global community.

  19. TuffGuy

    Howard never said sorry to Aboriginals so he was never ever going to say sorry for sending us to a war we did not belong in. All wars in the Middle East region are about one thing and one thing only – oil. Every other excuse is just pure bullshit.
    Howard’s biggest problem (and that of his followers) is that he still thinks he was a great PM. He was PM in boom times, benefited massively from ALP policies put in place before his election, and when handed a massive surplus wasted untold billions on wasteful handouts (such as baby bonuses and tax cuts) that our economy is now suffering from many years later. Howard was a hoax of a PM and as such deserves zero respect for everything he did to our country.

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Howard was born to rule,

    so his Mum told him.

    Some decent people, I know were born the same way, but are better than Johnny and his snotty wife, who helped call the shots.

    Beware of uncompassionate people intent on power whatever way it will come to them!

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