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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 228 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

(b) lifting economic sanctions on Iraq;

(c) pressuring the US to sign on to the International Criminal Court and then pursuing Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity;

(d) punitive actions against corporations that have profited from the development of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq;

(e) full implementation of UN resolutions calling for the disarmament of the entire Middle East;

(f) full commitment to universal disarmament of all nuclear powers;

that, as a matter of extreme urgency, this resolution be forwarded to the Prime Minister, all federal politicians, the UN including the United Nations Security Council, the President of the US and the Prime Minister of the UK.

Mr Speaker, John Howard and his colleagues are prepared to commit Australia to war in Iraq with the United Kingdom and the United States. These are the only nations prepared to sacrifice their men and women to this war.

John Howard's government has already sent the troops to the area and it makes the intellectually insulting claim that this is not a deployment of troops but a pre-deployment. John Howard has not convinced the Australian community that an attack on Iraq is necessary or will achieve the stated objectives, yet he persists. He persists despite the objections from experienced military and foreign policy commentators; he persists despite the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have said no to war in Iraq; he persists despite the call of the churches to stop; he persists despite the heartfelt pleas from Vietnam veterans who explain the terrible consequences that war has had for their lives and their children's lives; he persists despite the growing number of local councils and communities calling for a stop to this war.

Every one of us will suffer if this country attacks Iraq. We will suffer because the majority of us do not want Australia to be part of this strike against Iraq. The majority of us are extremely distressed to think Australia would inflict such brutality against so many innocent civilians. The majority of us can feel the pain of the ordinary people in Iraq who are frightened for their lives-children, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, husbands and wives. The majority of Australians do not want to be responsible for the death or injury of these people or for the destruction of their homes or their land.

We will also all suffer because almost certainly our own region will be less stable, as will potentially be the whole world. We will suffer because our people will be fighting this war, and fighting a war has consequences for the individuals and their families, even if they survive. Right now in Belconnen Mental Health Unit there are children of Vietnam Veterans who are needing help. The intergenerational effects are well documented.

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