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On the illegality of Australian intervention in Syria

Senator Ludlam has called for War Powers reform and the obligation that all decisions on war involvement must be taken only in consultation with parliament. David Macilwain argues that the matter of Australian intervening militarily in Syria without Syria's permission should be pursued in the Senate and with the attorney general, George Brandis, because it is in breech of international law.

Letter to Senator Ludlam, Fri, Sep 11, 2015

Dear Senator Ludlam,

Last week on behalf of AMRIS the attached media release was sent to all MPs and media; my apologies if you have already seen and read it.

I am writing because I just saw a video of part of your speech on Thursday, echoing Melissa Parke’s call for War Powers reform and the obligation that all decisions on war involvement must be taken only in consultation with parliament.

As you point out of course, in this case such consultation would have led nowhere, because the Labor opposition has no problem with the government’s military deployment and submission to US authority. I would suggest therefore, that the matter – of what is quite clearly a breach of international law, for which their must be consequences – should be pursued in the senate and with the attorney general George Brandis.

While Brandis laid out the supposed justification for breaching Syria’s sovereignty on the spurious and irrelevant basis of ‘collective self-defence’, in an article in Thursday’s Australian, this seems no different from the advice received from Lord Goldsmith in 2003 that the attack on Iraq was justified. (even had there been WMD it is hard to see how such an act of aggression against a sovereign state by a country not sharing any border with it could have been ‘legal’.

It is not too late to pursue this, because Australia may be brought before the ICC for its infringements when they lead to culpable casualties of Syrians. The idea that somehow the North East of Syria where we intend to confine our military is ‘ungoverned space’ has already been dramatically exposed as nonsense by this report from Deir Al Zour. Leith Fadel of Almasdar news is quite reliable, and he reports how the Syrian army and air-force have repelled an attempted attack on Deir al Zour airbase, killing up to 100 IS fighters. Deir al Zour of course is on the Euphrates, and in a direct line between Anbar and Raqqa, in the area that Australia intends to deploy its fighter jets. It is easy to see the possibility that an Australian missile could hit a Syrian army platoon or vehicle if they are in close combat with IS. Such a strike would have consequences.

I hope that you will keep pursuing this matter with supportive colleagues. Australia can make a decision at any time to start cooperating with the Syrian government, if it is truly serious about stopping the terrorist groups, but otherwise we should immediately withdraw our support for the US coalition’s dirty little war and its terrorist ‘boots on the ground’.

All regards David Macilwain

Sandy Creek, Victoria

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The Saudi-led forces are using the most deadly US-Nato Weapons that are being tested now on the Yemeni People as the new laboratory as is Gaza. Watch and share. No news at all on CNN-Jazeera-BBC.
No protests from the so-called Ummah ..... not a voice of dissent, its just horrendous.

Can ANYONE say what on earth this bomb is??

Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen (a very poor country to its south between it and the sea) into oblivion, but we hear nothing of this from our Primeminister, our foreign minister, or our NATO US 'allies' which include the brutal and oppressive murderous Saudi regime.

Other bombs they have dropped here:

I remember the last night in Gaza in 2012 after the "false" ceasefire, that night Israel threw everything at Gaza or so it seemed. I remember the CBC guy coming back to Al Quds hotel, visibly shaking..and I will remember his words to this day: "I am a seasoned war correspondent but these guys [Israel] are psychopathic, I have never seen anything like this". Cigarette lit in trembling hands he went on to describe a small jet the like of which he had never seen before that could fly at tremendous speed even through very narrow streets..and the fact that his clearly marked TV Press vehicle had been chased down many streets by an Apache helicopter which finally fired a missile, narrowly missing his car and destroying a civilian house. He said it appeared like a game to where human beings were the toys. The noise and intensity that night was unbelievable, even bombing close to the international areas like Al Mina where we were living. Yemen has had this for 168 days now and the intensity they describe is so similar to Gaza. Sick.