Dear Prime Minister,
We would fully support such an inquiry as it is long overdue.
Parliament should decide if we go to war.
Unity Party WA
Save the trees – Please use email
UPWA is the only political Party that calls a spade a spade.
Mike Kelly joins call for Iraq war inquiry
AAP on August 26, 2016, 2:12 pm
Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer says an inquiry into Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war would only be useful if senior US officials could be called.
Mr Fischer, deputy prime minister to John Howard when the decision was made to join the US-led war in Iraq in 2003, said any inquiry would need input from the former US decision makers.
“If we could subpoena former vice-president Dick Cheney and former secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld, then perhaps it would be worthwhile,” he said on Sky News.
The recent Chilcot inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war has sparked calls for a similar inquiry in Australia, most recently from Labor MP Mike Kelly, a former army lawyer who served in Iraq.
“It’s not too late. In fact I think some distance now behind us will give us an even better perspective and better opportunity to do that analysis properly,” he told ABC television.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he wouldn’t support an inquiry into Australia’s Iraq war involvement.
“Deciding to rake over the coals there, I don’t know if that is going to be better than trying to make sure we deliver on our security needs as they stand today,” he said.
With calls for an Iraq war inquiry have come fresh calls for parliament to gain power to approve or reject any decision to go to war.
Labor senator Lisa Singh says this is too important to be left solely to the prime minister.
“Our parliamentarians are intelligent enough, sophisticated enough to work through a system that would work,” she said on ABC television.
The Australian Constitution doesn’t say who has power to declare war or deploy troops. In practice, that’s decided by the prime minister and cabinet.
Legislation requiring parliamentary approval of any decision to go to war has been a staple of the parliamentary notice paper since 1985 when the Australian Democrats introduced their Defence Amendment Bill.
Similar bills, requiring approval of both houses of parliament, have been introduced by the Greens but have never gained support of Labor or coalition governments.
The Greens are likely to introduce another such bill early this parliamentary sitting.
The Senate foreign affairs defence and trade committee examined a Greens bill in 2009-10, concluding it contained a number of deficiencies which needed to be addressed if this measure was to be brought forward again.
Mr Joyce said such decisions needed to be made in a secure environment.
“They have to be made in such a way that the enemy does not know what you are up to,” he said.