We are not at war — and we won’t win

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Crikey says: are we at war yet?” (yesterday).  Crikey asks “are we at war?” That is a fascinating question. Legally — and factually — we have nor declared war on any nation. Factually we are sending some of our armed forces into battle against people. So we are not at war but we are in a war.

Why? Another fascinating question. We seek to destroy a group of people because of their actions against others. We will comply with whatever our ally and “saviour” the USA requests of us. It’s good politics on behalf of the government as it wedges the opposition and takes away from the abysmal performance of the government elsewhere. Do we have an objective? Apart from the politics, both internal and external, there is no clear and measurable objective.

“What!” is the shout of outrage. “These loathsome slugs have to be stopped, look what is happening.”

Sure, they should cease and desist, as far as we are concerned, they are entirely foreign to our beliefs. But we are playing their game and unless we can formulate and postulate a clear, practical and attainable objective — we can’t win and they will. It’s not as if this hasn’t happened before; Nigeria, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Korea, Vietnam (to name a few), and have we won? Absolutely not won a war or a conflict since 1945.

No reasonable person wants to see conflict of this kind. However, most thinking people want a lot bloody more than is being  provided by this government by way of justification. Parliament is the place where the people of Australia need to hear a proper debate on this “unwar”. Especially the objective rationale supporting purpose and objective. Instead we hear silence.

A very expensive three years

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Memo to Daniel Andrews: voters care about transport after all” (yesterday). It is surprising that the ALP has missed the most obvious argument against the East West Link. Cars are like rabbits –give them the space and they will fill it in double quick time. If the estimate for building the East West link is $16 billion you can safely expect it to cost $20 billion, if it were built. Yet the overwhelming evidence has been that at least in a metropolitan context, traffic on any freeway will within very few years become reduced to crawling speed. In short, quite apart from the dislocation of so many people and the damage done to Royal Park, the $16 billion to $20 billion will be spent on a benefit of three or four years’ duration.

So much for sport coverage

David Whittingham writes: Re. “Front page of the day” (yesterday). Your rugby league front page of the day on Monday only highlighted the fact that here in Port Macquarie The Sydney Morning Herald had no grand final match report, just a few pre-match pix and a pointer to the SMH website to read the story, analysis, etc. I know Fairfax isn’t really trying these days, but the Telegraph with that front page, sitting alongside the league-free, $2.50 Herald on the newsagent’s stand, makes it look stupid. No skin off my nose as I don’t follow league, but a lot of people around here do.

Peter Fray

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