Alexander Downer on Iraq

The Left have been celebrating the 10th anniversary with a litany of what went wrong. Me, I’m more positive and haven’t really changed my opinion since I posted on the subject nearly ten years ago

A democracy in the middle of the shit-hole that is the Middle East would give birth to hope and all the Mullahs and Kings and Princes would be feeling uneasy

More here Today in the Age Alexander Downer, Foreign Affairs minister when adults were playing the game has a piece in The Age We played a worthy role in Saddam’s demise

Let me be blunt: I think we were right to play our own small part in the destruction of the regime of Saddam Hussein. It was a far from perfect operation, mistakes were made and the sectarian violence that followed was appalling. But there are three reasons why the Iraqis, the Middle East and the world are better off for the demise of the Saddam regime.

The first is simple humanity.  Sadam is dead!  That’s a very big plus for the world and particularly Iraqis Secondly, there is the issue of chemical and biological weapons.  He had ’em, he used ’em and now he can’t nor can any other aspiring despot Downer continues;

But if the threshold question is, should we have played a part in getting rid of Saddam a decade ago, my answer is an unequivocal yes.

I’m glad we did. We played a small part in evicting the world’s most brutal dictator who made President Assad of Syria look moderate. We played a tiny part in starting to change theologies of the Middle East from dictatorship to democracy. And we helped spare the region and the world from a dictator who aspired to dominate the Arab world and threaten Israel.

That was the thing about the Howard government: we stood for something. And one of the things we stood for was freedom.

As different from the Gillard government who stand for themselves and the less than 20% of the population who are unionists.


  • Perhaps Alexander should have asked the Iraqis –
    Majorities of Iraqi respondents say that the impact of the war has been negative with respect to their personal safety and security (72%), economic development and employment (66%), administration of government services (59%), and relations with neighboring countries (54%). One-half feel there has been a negative impact on political freedom (as opposed to one-third who say that political freedom has advanced). Similarly almost one-half of Iraqis feel the impact on education has been negative. The results are more mixed in terms of women’s rights (26% positive, 37% negative, 26% no impact).
    Source – Daniel Larison – Reporting on a Zogy Poll taken in Iraq in November 2011 –
    Reported in The American Conservative – Jan 12 2012.

    • Cherry picking numbers again 1735099…..Kurds don’t count I guess…..obviously not Iraqis. Statistics as usual can be manipulated by who is questioned (political persuasion, education, position in society, racial outlook, personal grief etc) and the manner in which the question is put. 
      How many of the “ordinary” citizens were included in the poll?  I don’t have much faith in polls, having seen the numbers used as a reference in Australia, ie poll 1000 people to assess the thinking patterns of 23,000,000.  The biggest poll of all in Australia can be manipulated by the preferential voting system and the quality or otherwise of the candidates.

      • The Kurds don’t believe they’re Iraqis. they’ve fought both the Turks and (previously) the Iraqis (under Saddam) for a homeland for a very long time….

        • 1735099 ….But the reality is……they are Iraqis, although their views differ from main stream Iraqis.  Somewhat similar to Australian third generation Italians/Greeks etc who claim to be of the nationality of their grand-parents.  Doesn’t stop them from obtaining an Australian passport, or for that matter serving in the Australian Military, should they wish to.  Of course it does mean that when they return to a country that has compulsory Military service, they can travel on the Australian passport to avoid call up.  This is the lucky country as we all know.
          I still doubt your numbers Numbers.

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