9 March 2007


Within the past few days the newly appointed US Commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus admitted that there was no military solution to the insurgency in Iraq, and that a final resolution of the conflict would require the engagement in political discussion of militant groups responsible for the violence.

Recently the Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson also conceded that there will be "no such thing as victory in Iraq" and that IRAQ will remain beset by sectarian violence and terrorism even after coalition forces leave it.

The war in Iraq is now estimated to have cost the United States over 370 thousand million dollars with some economists predicting that the final cost will be between one and two million, million dollars. (see the report in the respected British newspaper The Guardian

Australia’s small commitment has so far cost an estimated two thousand million dollars.

These sums are almost too large to comprehend but by contrast it is estimated that the annual cost of eliminating starvation and malnutrition globally is nineteen thousand million dollars and as noted in the previous post less than a quarter of Australia's expenditure on the Iraq war would enable indigenous people equal access to health care services.

In the wake of the catastrophic failure of military intervention in Iraq the visit of American Jesuit priest and peace activist Fr John Dear is timely. Fr Dear is currently visiting Australia at the invitation of Pace e Bene preaching a message of creative non-violence as an alternative means to bring about social change.

Full details of his visit can be found at the above website.

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