Iraq Troop Commitment 'Height Of Hypocrisy' Say Groups

November 11, 2002

Iraq Troop Commitment 'Height Of Hypocrisy' Say Groups

Friends Of The Earth Australia
Australian Peace Committee
People For Nuclear Disarmament Nsw
People For Nuclear Disarmament W.A.

Australian peace groups have labeled comments by foreign minister Alexander Downer, reported from Shanghai this morning, to the effect that Australian troops might have to go into Iraq in support of a US effort even without a UN resolution, as the height of hypocrisy and double-standards.

The groups had called on Saturday for inspections of the weapons of mass destruction of all the nuclear weapons powers as well as Iraq.

According to the groups:

"The world has been told over and over again that the issue is weapons of mass destruction, and we agree with that. The issue is indeed weapons of mass destruction."

"So the question is: Why don't we talk about weapons of mass destruction, starting with the countries that really do have weapons of mass destruction, and noting that the US not only will continue to have some 12,000 nuclear warheads including over 2000 on launch on warning status into the foreseeable future, but that it has refused to sign the chemical and biological weapons convention? Why are we not sending inspectors into the US, Russia, France, the UK, China, India, Pakistan and above all into Israel?"

"The responsible attitude by our government would be to tell our great and powerful ally that it should first of all make real steps toward the elimination of its own WMD, and sign the chemical and biological weapons convention itself before looking to make war on other countries that aspire to a pathetic fraction of the massive and deadly arsenals of the 'big boys'."

"If Australian troops are committed to Iraq, Australian lives will be being risked in the name of a massive exercise in hypocrisy and double standards."

Peace groups around Australia are organizing towards a national weekend of action to call for no war against Iraq on the 30 November - 1 December 2002. Public rallies are planned in all capital cities. In Sydney there will be a 'Walk Against War' commencing at 12 noon Saturday Nov. 30 at Sydney Town Hall, which will be addressed by John Pilger, Sharan Burrows, Christian and Moslem religious leaders and celebrities.

For more information contact:

John Hallam
Ph: (02) 9567 7533

Irene Gale
Ph: (08) 8364 2291