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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1182 ..

MS MacDONALD (continuing):

We can tell the United Kingdom when we believe that they should allow the United Nations to complete its weapons inspections. This need not be a threat to the ANZUS Treaty.

Mr Smyth, in an interjection, claimed that the war was not illegal. I am not going to enter into that argument. The war may well not be illegal, but the way that it has been entered into is certainly highly immoral.

In the lead-up to this war links were being made to terrorism. Comments were made along the lines that Saddam Hussein and the Iraqis had links to Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups. I do not believe these links have been proved. They certainly have not been proved to my satisfaction or the satisfaction of many of my fellow countrymen and countrywomen, and certainly not to the satisfaction of the people debating the topic within the United Nations.

In finishing, I quote Simon Crean's comments:

Australia should not have become part of the Coalition of the Willing. Instead, we should have worked through the UN to disarm those rogue states who possess weapons of mass destruction, and uphold the rule of international law.

Labor supports the disarmament of Iraq. We support our troops. But we do not support the war.

I agree with those comments wholeheartedly.

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.27): I too rise to support the comments made by the Chief Minister and to put on the record my opposition to the war in Iraq. We have been given many reasons why war with Iraq is justified. The reasons range from security issues related to weapons of mass destruction and terrorism to the need to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime.

At the same time, some suspect there are other reasons for this unprovoked attack-reasons related to oil, economic supremacy and political influence. No doubt these reasons will continue to be discussed as they have been over and over again in the past months, as we have struggled to find any reason to justify the death of innocent civilians and the death and maiming of children, women and men who have no involvement in this war and who are increasingly reduced to impersonal statistics. I do not believe that there is any reason which can justify such destruction.

My difficulty with this debate is that I have frequently had to argue points that to me are so obvious. The contradictions of this conflict are ignored by the leaders of the coalition of the willing-contradictions like ignoring UN processes to attack a country for its non-compliance with UN resolutions; contradictions like using bombs to deliver humanitarian ends; contradictions like spending $1 billion in just one day of an unprovoked attack, when that $1 billion could have been used to help the Iraqi people to build links with their region and to try to deliver a peaceful outcome.

These contradictions are obvious to me and to many other people across Australia and around the world who oppose this war. I do not believe that there can be a humanitarian

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