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Out of Iraq

One of the most shameful episodes in Australia's history has come to an end, with the commencement of the withdrawal of our combat troops from Iraq.

The withdrawal came more or less with a whimper, and certainly not telegraphed in advance. Earlier this year the Senate Estimates Committee was told that Australia's role in Iraq was complete, and this was confirmed by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston yesterday (video). We, of course, should never have been there, an aggressor nation (along with the USA, UK and numerous smaller members of the "Coalition of the Willing") invading a sovereign entity on the other side of the world, on the basis of fabricated "intelligence". The acronym for the original (subsequently discarded) US name for the invasion, "Operation Iraqi Liberation", sums up the underhanded motives fairly well.

Today's funnies from the White House

Iraq Fact Check: Responding to Key Myths

So you thought the US was losing the war in Iraq? How wrong could you be!

This and a dozen other myths are busted by the Fox News Channel's fact verification arm, the White House Press Office.

And just so you are certain about things, "the US is currently in Iraq at the invitation of a sovereign government and the unanimous approval of the United Nations Security Council".

At the invitation of a sovereign government... in March 2003 that would have been Saddam Hussein?

The fact sheet is here

Four years of Mission Accomplished

It would be remiss of me if I ignored the fact that today is the fourth anniversary of the end of the Iraq War, as proclaimed by Fighter Pilot Dubya Bush.

(Refer my post for three years of Mission Accomplished).

Oh, and check this item from the Peek blog on about the Commander-in-Chief recently being presented with a Purple Heart.

Saddam Hussein 1937-2006

Saddam Hussein was killed today. He was put to death by hanging at the direction of the Iraqi Government following a trial for one of his lesser alleged crimes against humanity. His death means that other, even more serious, charges against him will never be brought to account - notably the use of chemical weapons against Kurds in 1988. Likewise, the complicity of governments friendly to Iraq prior to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait will be more difficult to explore.

I can never understand how, if the taking of human life is such a heinous crime, the punishment can be the taking of human life. I have no sympathy for Saddam Hussein over his actions across the past forty years. But he should have been locked away for the term of his natural life.

NBC states the bleeding obvious

NBC News reached the same conclusion on Monday that we've all known since, oh, 2003: That there's a civil war in Iraq.

Matt Lauer read the solemn pronouncement on Monday's Today show, declaring that NBC (80% owned by General Electric NYSE:GE, 20% by Vivendi FR:012777) has decided to call the vicious and bloody conflict between the Shi'ites and Sunnis a "civil war".

MSNBC takes up the story.

Iraq: Dujail Trial Fundamentally Flawed

Iraq: Dujail Trial Fundamentally Flawed - Court Should Overturn Verdict, Death Penalty
The trial of Saddam Hussein and seven other defendants before the Iraqi High Tribunal for crimes against humanity was marred by so many procedural and substantive flaws that the verdict is unsound, Human Rights Watch said in a 97-page report released today. The shortcomings of the trial, for the killings of more than 100 people from the Iraqi town of Dujail, also call into question subsequent proceedings at the tribunal.
[Human Rights Watch]

Capital punishment: Just don't do it.

I certainly have no sympathy for Saddam Hussein. But he should not be executed for his crimes. No more and no less than any other human being.

Why, in any case, should anyone's monumental lack of respect for human life be even partly condoned through the state-organised termination of his?

One can only hope that further charges of crimes against humanity continue to be heard against Hussein, especially with regard to the chemical weapon attack on Kurds in 1988.

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