Shorten showing strong leadership

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Crikey says: Shorten lacks Crean’s courage on Iraq” (yesterday). Crikey’s slap at Bill Shorten for lacking courage in endorsing Australia’s re engagement in Iraq is is grossly unfair. It may have escaped Crikey‘s notice, but Labor’s primary vote is constantly being eroded by the opportunists on his extreme left for whom no illogical position is a bridge too far. These are people who shed crocodile tears over the treatment of asylum seekers but shrug their shoulders over deaths at sea (Sarah Hanson-Young), who decry the humanitarian crisis in Iraq but have no plausible alternative to international intervention.

As Tony Abbott said today this is not the same situation as 2003, and doing nothing is not an option. This is a slow-to-anger Barack Obama, not George Bush, leading the way in an involvement that has the endorsement of Arab nations and  is in support of the elected Iraqi government.

While polls show Australian’s are deeply disturbed by the actions of IS and overwhelmingly support humanitarian aid, a recent  poll has shown 60% opposition to a new military involvement in Iraq. Contrary to your editorial I contend Bill Shorten is showing strong leadership and great political courage in not taking the easy step of hanging Tony Abbott out to dry.

Richard Stuckey writes: The wreckage of Iraq as a result of previous US strategies is like a huge china shop in which a bull has been let loose. Current US strategy is a stroke of pure brilliance — fix up all the damage by sending the same bull back in there!

Why do we need submarines at all?

Nick Hudson writes: Re. “Manning: we all hope for an Aussie submarine” (Friday). There is also a way of saving even more dollars, and that is not to buy any submarines at all. I have followed the debate quite closely without ever hearing a cogent argument for having a submarine force. In what sort of conflict would our submarines play any part at all? They have not played a part in any conflict since 1945, and in the horrific event of a return to 1945, would Australia’s possession of a few subs make any difference whatsoever to the outcome?

Carr-Parkes debate settled

Richard Horsley writes: “Don’t forget Sir Henry Parkes” (Friday): Parkes was indeed New South Wales’ longest-serving premier. But as this all happened before federation, he presided over a colony.  Alex Mitchell’s comment about Bob Carr being the state’s longest-serving premier remains completely correct.

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