Open Letter to the Australian Labor Party re TROOPS HOME POLICY sign now

Open letter from Stop the War Coalition Sydney and all concerned citizens to the Australian Labor Party: TROOPS OUT NOW!

John Howard?s Liberal-National Coalition government sent Australian troops to join the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Until recently, Labor's policy was to bring the troops home by Christmas.

But after the election, and to the dismay of many, the ALP leadership seems to be retreating from this policy, arguing, among other things, that it isn?t practical.

Abandoning the troops home call would signal a retreat from the biggest moral and political issue of our time.


Mark Latham's call for the troops to be brought home came soon after the Spanish people had voted overwhelmingly against their pro-war president.

If the ALP leadership had decided to campaign against the war in the last election, it too would have been rewarded as was the Greens'?Andrew Wilkie who ran a strong anti-war campaign in Bennelong, NSW.

Public opinion was onside, and it gave inspiration to the Peace Movement. Finally, it seemed, the ALP had brought its policy into line with the views of the majority: that Australia has no business in an unjust and illegal war in Iraq.

Calls for more humanitarian assistance mean nothing when little can be done while a full-scale war of occupation continues.

Some 100,000 Iraqis are now presumed dead in this war one hundred times the number of Coalition troop losses. More than half have been women and children killed in air strikes, according to a report in the respected medical journal The Lancet.

And the current Coalition assault on Iraqi cities and towns in order to ?eradicate the resistance in the lead-up to the Iraqi elections scheduled for January, is likely to massively increase the number of casualties.

Farnaz Fassihi, an American journalist born in Iran who writes from Baghdad for The Wall Street Journal, has described the war as a ?disaster. "The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed in this country as a result of American mistakes, and can't be put back into a bottle", she said in October.

This is why the occupying troops must leave. They are not liberating Iraqis they are killing them, indiscriminately. The departure of the relatively small number of Australian troops will send a powerful political signal that the war in Iraq cannot end through military occupation.

As the former weapons?inspector Scott Ritter put it: 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians in the prosecution of an illegal and unjust war not only condemns us, it adds credibility to those who oppose us.

Iraqis have the right to decide how to run their own country, and the majority wants the occupying forces to leave.



Senator-elect Rachel Siewert, WA Greens
Senator Kerry Nettle, NSW Greens
Senator Bob Brown, Tas Greens
Senator-elect Christine Milne, Tas Greens

Leigh Rhiannon, NSW Greens
Ian Cohen, NSW Greens
Randwick Botany Greens

Lorna G. Bowles, Penshurst
SISTER SUSAN CONNELLY, Mary McKillop Institute for East Timorese Studies
WENDAY BACON, investigative journalist & lawyer
Colin Charlton, NSW Greens
Charlie Attard, Engadine

Doug Evans, Bundeena
Bushra M. Saeed, Bankstown
Soham Saeed, Bankstown
Muzeyyen Omar, Yagoona

MAX LANE, Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific
Omar Samin, Bankstown
Ertugruc Kahueci
Peter Abraham

S. Hayten
Damien March
Eren Turak
Alison Dellit, Green Left Weekly
Jamie Suddaby

Therese Suddaby
Robert Samsa
Morna McGrath
Darrin Tucker, AMWU
Shane Condrogan, ALP

Angela Wichmann
Paula Shouha, Australian Dental Association
Magnus Boqueh
Marty Jany, Media Arts & Entertainment Alliance
Tommy McKeever, Irish Ant-war Movement

Ciarain Connolly, Irish Ant-war Movement
Cartia Wollen, Bondi
Reign Haub, Petersham
Majidi Ann Warda
Liz Argaet, Petersham

Pawi Rooms, Erskineville
David Harvey, Ashfield
Sudeep Birumy, Marayong
Christian Bare, Waverley
John Percy, Democratic Socialist PerspectiveWayne Knight, Lethbridge

Dianna Britl, Palm Beach
Penny Ambrose, Newtown
Amanda Robinson, Doonside
Randy d?Lau, Pyrmont
Fleur McKay, St Leonards

C. Harte, Croydon
John Turner, NSW Teachers Fed
S. Nelson, Abbotsford (Vic.)
A. Nunn, Marrickville
R. Shore, Bondi Beach

Andrew Judd, Shelley Beach
Aaron Caponas
Angela Sunley
Kathleen Joy
Rola Azzi

Raymond S. Hill
Luaf Pulham, Aust Catholic University
Rhys Williams
George Duiz, NUS
Angela Crow, Sth East Health, HSU

Phillip Thomas, Darlinghurst
Buranill Tureltere, Darlinghurst
Eleanor Jarego, NUS
Megan Young, UTS Union
Misty Kuchonik

Peter Hanscombe
Bruce Knobloch, NSW Teachers Fed
Patrick Lavilles, Aboriginal Tent Embassy
Daniel Kasak, ISO
M. Mann

M. Obeid, C?bury-Bankstown Peace Gp
Cheryl Johnson, NSW-MA, NSW-NA
Andrew Walsh
Rowie Daskalakis, NTEU
K. Russ

Anna Samson, CPSU
John Morris, NSW Teachers Fed
Charlie Hepplewhite
Rebecca Jorquera
Marcelo Jorquera, UNSW

Catherine Dornan
Shirley Hilyard, Stanmore
Divina Rijak
S. Joelson, Newtown
P. Sharpe, Erskineville

Judith Milazzo
Prue Freiinger, Newtown
Luke Campbell, Glebe
Marianne Hender, Newtown
Lyb Makin, Parramatta

Jenna Watkins, Newtown
Socialist Alliance ? National Convenors
Rebekah Doran, UTS
Anna Broinowski
Hugo Tremayne

Duncan Thompson
Sita Bari, Balmain
Richard Milray, Balmain
Antoinette Abboud
Karen Adler, When the World Said NO to War

Robert Kennedy, Newtown Peace Group
Sarah Stephen, Green Left Weekly
Socialist Alternative

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    Nothing has changed since the beginning days in the status of what remains an illegal invasion of a country by aggressors. What has changed, is that what has become entrenched by complicity of most of the world media: the denial that Iraqis have been conn
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