crean: australia should avoid war at all costs

  1. 3,363 Posts.
    January 15 2003

    Australia should try to avoid being involved in a war with Iraq at all costs, Opposition Leader Simon Crean said today.

    Mr Crean said Australia should be supporting United Nations' weapons inspectors rather than deploying troops in preparation for a United States-led unilateral action against Iraq.

    "Australia should not be preparing for a war with Iraq," he told journalists in Melbourne.

    Mr Crean said Mr Howard was, as usual, too anxious to fall into line with the United States.

    "He always has been and I think it's a serious error of judgment," he said.

    "Of course he has to maintain the strength of the alliance with the US but that doesn't mean doing everything they want."

    Mr Crean said no link had yet been made between the war on terror and Iraq.

    "If such a case were made, then the circumstances would change," he said.

    Mr Crean said he believed the majority of Australians agreed with his position.

    "What we're talking about here is, potentially, young men and women being asked to put their lives at risk," he said.

    "This is a serious matter, it's one that we have to avoid at all costs if we can."

    Mr Crean said if he was Prime Minister he would argue very strongly for a diplomatic, rather than a military, resolution to Iraq.

    "To be deploying troops in advance of the UN decision is a totally inappropriate call in the current circumstances," he said.

    "I think it sends a bad signal."

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