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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1181 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

terrorists who have joined the fray because that is what terrorists do. Well, it seems to me that this is a sign of desperation. We have seen these signs of desperation in other countries in the past and I fear that these sorts of things will continue. It horrible to imagine that a suicide bomber would attack other human beings with the view to destroying as many people as possible.

I cannot help thinking that the failure of foreign policy and the militaristic aims of the great nations of this world have forced those people into such a position of hopelessness that they would destroy themselves to hurt others. I cannot comprehend why people would do that, but I think I understand their feeling of desperation once they are confronted with the might of the great nations of this world.

I want to express a few words of sympathy for the people of the United States. I believe that the people of the United States have also been caught by the failure of foreign policy. The events of September 11 were a great tragedy to everyone on the planet. It was a great tragedy that the people of the United States were hurt so badly by terrorists who decided to strike a blow against ordinary Americans, many of whom would not have agreed with the foreign policy aims of the United States. Nevertheless, I think it is understood by most people that the reason for that great horror was, again, a failure of foreign policy; it was a response to that failure.

I live in hope that some day people will see that we need to do more than invade countries that we disagree with. We need to do more to extend peace. After all, who will be next after this invasion? Where else will we seek to invade and liberate the occupants of a country that is run by what can be described as a despot, and in doing so destroy many of them, destroy many of their futures and create a lasting confrontation between different groups of people somewhere else on this planet?

I close by saying that I will continue to demonstrate against this war because I believe that people who disagree with a war being conducted in their name without their agreement have an obligation to do so.

MS MacDONALD (5.22): I rise reluctantly, I was not going to speak, but I rise to put on the record my opposition to the war in Iraq. I also have attended a few of the anti-war demonstrations. My concern is that some people take opposition to the war as being support for Saddam Hussein. It is not.

I personally believe that Saddam Hussein is an oppressor of many. He only protects his own interests. His offences and atrocities are many. Some have been raised in this place today.

My major concern is that coalition forces entered Iraq without allowing the UN inspectors to finish their job. George W. Bush referred to the US, the United Kingdom and Australia as the coalition of the willing. I was not willing, nor were the majority of the population of this country, when the invasion began.

I disagree with the comment that opposing the war and opposing bringing Saddam Hussein into line through military action would cause ANZUS Treaty problems. I believe that true friends tell each other when they believe that they have done the wrong thing. In other words, we can tell the US when we believe that they are going in too fast.

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