Sydney groups: No new war on Iraq

Issue 
The action outside the Defence Department in Sydney on September 11.

Stop the War Coalition in Sydney released the statement below on September 11.

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Anti-war activists gathered outside the Defence Department in Sydney on September 11 to say no to another war on Iraq.

Called by Stop the War Coalition (STWC) and Marrickville Peace Group, the snap action heard from several activists, who said Western military and political interference was largely to blame for the rise of fundamentalist and sectarian groups in the Middle East.

Linda Pearson, from STWC, said there were double standards and hypocrisy in the US's case for military strikes on the Islamic State (IS) forces.

"No such arguments were made to rescue the Gazans under attack from the Zionist government of Israel," she said. "While the IS is a brutal and sectarian military outfit, it's the product of the West's political, military and economic intervention in the Middle East."

Nick Dean from Marrickville Peace Group told the protest: "The lesson that should have been learnt from Iraq is that military meddling in the affairs of the Middle East does not work. There was a disastrous outcome last time and no evidence to indicate anything different this time."

Pip Hinman from STWC said: "We were told lies and fed hysterical headlines in the lead up to the second Iraq war, in 2003.

"It was easier to convince a terrified US public back then because of the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. But former PM John Howard had a tougher time here, and mostly people weren't convinced of the need for war.

"Some of this scepticism remains today, but some are being frightened — or fooled — by the propaganda campaign to justify a 'humanitarian war'. We have to do our best to dispel the lies again. We have to oppose any new war — really it's an extension of the old one — on Iraq and Syria.

"The horror in Iraq today is a direct consequence of the war that began with the invasion in 2003.

"The Abbott government is poised to agree to a US invitation to join this new 'coalition of the willing'.

"Just as it has shown on Palestine, the ALP is showing its true colours — all the way with the US killing machine."

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