Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Defence Minister, David Johnston, are deliberately misleading the Australian people and more than likely the Australian parliament, by telling us that the government hasn’t been asked to commit to helping the US again in Iraq.
Tony Abbott is following in almost the same footsteps as John Howard did in March 2003 when he kept telling the Australian people and parliament that he hadn’t been asked by Bush to commit to the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ just before the invasion and destruction of Iraq, an event which has led directly to the current crisis in Iraq today.
One would be extremely naïve to believe that Abbott has not already been invited to participate in action against Islamic State forces in Iraq and that invitation was made and accepted when US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel both visited Australia earlier this month. One would also be extremely naïve to believe the outgoing director of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) David Irvine when he says that Australia’s involvement with the US in Iraq would not further radicalise young Australian Muslims thereby increasing the likelihood of terrorist acts being committed in Australia. Given the history of Australian Muslims participation in the current war in Iraq, it is far more likely that radicalised Muslims will consider committing terrorist acts in Australia when Abbott does join with the US in the fight against Islamists in Iraq.
While as yet no scientific polls regarding Australians opinions about going to war in Iraq again have been released, however, at least one online poll shows that a strong majority, some 75% of Australians, would be against any such action.