Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3559 ..
MRS CROSS (continuing):
Immediately after the allies withdrew at the end of the Gulf war, Saddam began attacking the Marsh Arabs in the south (Shiite Muslims) and the Kurds in the north. The instigation by the United States of America and the United Kingdom of no-fly zones was a defensive measure against Saddam's genocidal intent against the minority groups of his own country.
Former UN weapons inspector Richard Butler-a former Australian ambassador-has had on-the-ground personal experience in Iraq and says Saddam Hussein cannot be trusted. The Iraq of Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictatorship through, and with, its minority Sunni Muslims. It has a history of relentless oppression, including the commission of long-term atrocities against the majority Shiite Muslims and, even more so, the Kurdish minority.
Despite all that, Iraq is a member of the United Nations, whose charter it has treated with utter contempt for years. Diplomacy has been used to deal with Iraq by the UN, ever since Saddam deceived the Secretary General, Kofi Annan, in 1998. The non-democratic and supposed parliamentary debate-as indeed Saddam's son Uday's letter to the parliament in Iraq stated-has been constructed to be yet another deception, in an attempt to misuse the honest and concerted diplomatic efforts to avoid war.
The other part of Ms Dundas' motion reads:
affirms the role of the United Nations as the vehicle for seeking a non-violent resolution of the issues.
Whilst it is true that the United Nations has an important role in diplomacy, the essence of the UN-and central to its existence-is the creation, role and function of the Security Council. This is a Security Council matter. This is now a matter in which the pre-eminent member of the UN Security Council, the United States, should show leadership in this area.
In conclusion: as if the Bali bombings were needed to remind us, people such as Saddam Hussein do not share our values. They share neither our respect for human life nor our strong and proud traditions of open and democratic government. I believe we cannot, as a nation, sit idly and allow such people to define the nature and scope of the rule of international law as a toothless tiger.
I believe in the continuation of a liberal democratic ideology as the mainstay of all governments. I do not want to see those democratic ideals undermined or destroyed by renegade and rogue regimes, such as that of this Iraqi dictator.
I will not be supporting the motion by Ms Dundas, as it stands. I have had time to look at all the amendments and understand the sentiments contained therein. They, however, do not detract from the essential message of appeasement which I believe to be the wrong message at this time. I regret I am unable to support them.
MR PRATT (5.07): Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to speak against Ms Dundas' motion. Firstly, I fail to see why a matter in the national interest, in respect of international affairs, is being raised in this local assembly. As it has been raised, and as it represents a proposal for prescriptive action that leaves this country's hands tied in the face of