Iraq War

March 19 marks 15 years since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the US people have no idea of the enormity of the calamity the invasion unleashed.

Greens MP Adam Bandt was forced to apologise twice to new Liberal Senator and renowned fan of British neo-Nazi’s social media work Jim Molan, after Bandt called the former Australian general a war criminal.

After the recent spate of murders in Manchester, London and Melbourne people are increasingly asking what the past 20 years of the “war on terror” has done besides making the world a more dangerous, divided and fearful place.

Arguably, the University of Sydney’s decision to give former Prime Minister John Howard an honorary doctorate on September 30 has backfired badly. 

Academics and students spoke eloquently against the award before and during the ceremony, prompting some students who had just been given their degree to join in.

The university had cited Howard’s “world-leading gun law reform, leadership in East Timor and contribution to Australia’s economic reform” as reasons for the award. While many would question these, the elephant in the room was Iraq.

Following the release of the Chilcot Report in Britain, a new group, Chilcot Oz, formed in South Australia to advocate for a full inquiry into Australia's involvement in the Iraq war.

Chilcot Oz spokesperson, Mike Khizam, said the 100,000 people who marched for peace in Adelaide in February 2003 always knew that the Iraq War was unjustified. The Chilcot Report validates this and there are now a growing number of calls for a similar inquiry in Australia.

The release of the Chilcot Report on July 6 has led to renewed calls for former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in starting the Iraq War.

The Chilcot Inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq War has prompted calls for a similar inquiry into the Coalition government, then led by John Howard, taking Australia into war in 2003.

Andrew Wilkie, the only intelligence official from the US, Britain or Australia to dispute the official explanation for the Iraq War, said on July 7 there should be an investigation into the Howard government's decision to go to war.

For some people, it was impossible to believe that this day would come. Seven years after John Chilcot started to take evidence in a British inquiry into the Iraq War and 12 years after the previous inquiry into the war, many anti-war protesters could be forgiven for being sceptical about what the report would say.

First impressions, announced over microphones and megaphones while being read from mobile phones, were met with a militant response. There was a sense of vindication for those of us who opposed the war from the outset and has renewed our determination.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on July 6 that public opposition to the war in Iraq had been “vindicated” — and called on politicians who ignored pleas for peace to “face up to the consequences”.

Speaking in parliament after the publication of the long-awaited Chilcot report, Corbyn said its conclusions proved the 2003 invasion of Iraq was “an act of military aggression launched on false pretences”.

Amir Amirani's documentary film We Are Many — on the huge outpouring of public opposition to the Iraq War in February 2003 — has its Australian premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival on Oct 22 and 24.

On Feb 15, 2003, 30 million people marched against the impending US-led war in Iraq. The protesters warned the Iraq invasion would be a disaster and humanitarian catastrophe — and were tragically proven right.

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