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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3558 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

there is a real need to ensure the safety of the whole world, and some other action-unilateral or whatever-may well have to be taken. That is just a sad fact of life.

We cannot roll ourselves up into a ball and pretend not to be part of the world. We are a part of the world. It is not going to save us by saying that we are not going to touch Iraq. We are part of the Western world whether we like it or not. Because of who we are, we are going to be targets for some types of terrorism. That is just a very sad fact of life.

It is our responsibility as a member of the Western alliance, as a civilised member of the world, as a country that has always tried to be a force for good, to stand up and be counted if we have to be. That is something Australia has always done.

I hope that sense will prevail and that Hussein will back down and accept the current resolution. If he does not, I would hope that the UN will then sanction action. If for some reason it does not, action needs to be taken.

MRS CROSS (5.02): Mr Deputy Speaker, none of us wants to see a war. In fact, the prospect of war-I believe quite rightly-is considered by most right-thinking and freedom-living people to be abhorrent. I have lived in countries where wars have occurred. I was in Indonesia when the Dili massacre took place. I was in China when the student uprisings commenced in South China, which led to the massacres in Tiananmen Square. It is awful to see your fellow human beings cut down-many of them in their prime. In her motion, Ms Dundas asks that this Assembly:

(1) opposes a war on Iraq as proposed by the US and Britain and opposes any involvement by Australia in such a war.

With respect to Ms Dundas, this is an oversimplification of the current situation. The regime of Saddam Hussein has been a menace to world regional security and its own internal security. Operation Desert Storm in 1991 was a direct and justified global response to the present Iraq leader's unilateral attack on Kuwait. Saddam Hussein is the same person. He is the same person who has used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. He is the same person whom the Australian weapons inspector, Richard Butler, has told us cannot be trusted.

If we are in any doubt that other leaders in Iraq believe differently, let me quote something from the Iraqi parliament from last night. Members variously described the UN resolution as evil, unjust, provocative, aggressive, threatening, deceitful and lacking basic standards of fairness, objectivity and balance. Note that this is what a member country of the UN is saying about a position taken by the organisation to which it belongs and which it has toyed with, cheated, defied, abused and ignored for years.

How reasonable is that for a diplomatic discussion partner? The Iraqi parliament also took the opportunity to shower praise on Saddam with a committee chairman on TV describing the butcher of Baghdad as "fighter, mujahid, a man of values, unlimited wisdom, of extraordinary ability to measure events, of sharp vision, of courage in running the struggle and leading the confrontation, of devotion in leading the Iraqi people to safety on the secure side of the sea where the sunny future lies".

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