The Null Device


Australian PM John Howard accuses anti-war protesters of giving comfort to Saddam Hussein, all but accusing them of treason, and making vague noises about them being "held accountable". Could this be a warning to protesters to stay out of it or risk being charged with treason?

Meanwhile, Australia was the only country opposing further UN inspections in Iraq (other than the US, of course). ("What do we want?" "WAR!" "When do we want it?" "NOW!")

There are 7 comments on "J'accuse":

Posted by: Ritchie http:// Thu Feb 20 08:06:19 2003

A similar brand of narrow, self-serving logic could be employed to describe the campaign in Iraq as giving comfort to al-Quada.

Posted by: Nick http:// Mon Feb 24 13:26:42 2003

It's not just the U.S and Australia in favour of war, it's also the Iraqi and Kurdish opposition groups, and they’re begging the U.S to help them liberate Iraq from Saddam! Not that you'll be interested in any of this, I suspect your too busy hating Bush.

As for John Howard's comments, I can't understand where you get the idea he's going to charge them with treason, in fact he's said he respects their right to protest.

Your anti-war mob justifies itself not on the strength of its ideas, but on the strength of its numbers! Freedom and democracy are worth fighting for!

Posted by: Graham Mon Feb 24 13:41:29 2003

Which would be great, except Bush is merrily selling out the Kurds to Turkey.

Sorry to rain on your moral clarity.

Posted by: acb Tue Feb 25 01:46:01 2003

One of the definitions of treason is "giving aid or succour to an enemy". It only applies in times of war, but that will soon start, and it's conceivable that a government without popular support could use this as a stick to beat back the tide of opposition.

Have anti-war protestors ever been prosecuted for treason in recent times in a Western country?

Posted by: Michael S. Tue Feb 25 04:29:42 2003

Graham: I don't think there's a very great chance that the Kurds would be worse off post-war than pre-war. They won't be sold to Turkey. I would put money on it.

Also, it's actually not a logical necessity to argue that war will have precisely no benefits to be against it. Of course the Kurds are keen. I also think they're in a pretty good position to decide if they're being duped or not.

Posted by: Ritchie http:// Tue Feb 25 08:53:48 2003

Nick it shouldn't surprise anyone that Iraqi dissidents, exiles and refugees are looking to the West to rid them of Saddam, but your suggestion that this means they are universally in favour of invasion is disingenuous. They are as divided as everyone else on the specifics of how the problem is to be resolved. Some support war. Some don't.

Either way, I've come to the view that the Iraqis are the missing piece of this puzzle. War, after all, is pointless if the subsequent peace fails to produce long-term stability. So close to war, the fate of post-Saddam Iraq is still fuzzy.

If only the Pentagon spent the same amount of time planning how to rebuild a country as to how to invade one...

Posted by: Ritchie http:// Tue Feb 25 08:58:19 2003

Btw does anyone else recall Gen. Tommy Franks (who may end up ruling post-war Iraq) saying recently that the objective of the campaign will be disarmament, as opposed to capuring/killing Saddam? Did I mishear that?

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