Trade first

Australia participated in the Iraq war because of spreading freedom and democracy, or so we’re told. Unfortunately, evidence proves otherwise:

The Howard Government used Australia’s support for the US in Iraq as a bargaining chip to protect the country’s multibillion-dollar wheat trade with Baghdad.

Documents seen by the Herald detail how Australia feared the US would muscle in on Australia’s dominant trading position with Saddam Hussein’s regime.

They show that more than six months before the outbreak of war, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, suggested that military support for the US in Iraq would benefit Australia’s commercial position. Once war had broken out, he was concerned the US would use its battle deaths as justification for seizing Australia’s wheat trade.… 

The next time John Howard or Downer talk about our mission in Iraq, remember that Iraqi lives have nothing to do with our presence.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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