Australian PM John Howard LIED on Commitment of Australian Soldiers in IraqAustralian Parliament was formally informed on March 18 by PM John Howard that Australia had "joined a coalition, led by the US, which intends to disarm Iraq of its prohibited weapons of mass destruction". Prior to this date, Howard told the Australian people, no decision had been taken as yet to commit Australian troops in Iraq.
But according to the latest remarks by US General Tommy Franks, Australian special forces, with US and British forces, had already entered Iraq and engaged in military activities PRIOR to March 18.
The special forces of the coalition had already took control a quarter of Iraq BEFORE the Iraq war started on March 20, according to General Tommy Franks.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard had basically lied to Parliament and to the Australian people in March 2003 .
Read HERE full article by Alex Mitchell " Our troops at war before the war."
Excerpt from Alex Mitchell's article:
In an extraordinary statement that suggests Australians were engaged in the war prior to Prime Minister John Howard officially committing troops, General Franks said more than 50 12-member special forces units secretly entered the Iraqi desert before hostilities began.
The statement means that when Mr Howard was saying in mid-March that no decision had been taken on whether to commit Australian troops, they were already on the ground in active combat.
General Franks told journalists that war planners were worried Iraq might launch Scud missile attacks on Israel and Jordan from its western desert, so US, British and Australian forces had to infiltrate the area as quickly as possible to prevent a wider Middle East conflict.
On March 4, 2003, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported :
Several thousand allied special forces, including more than 300 SAS personnel, are already operating inside Iraq.
On March 5, 2003, The Australian reported Defence Minister Robert Hill as saying Australian SAS troopers "are NOT yet active in Iraq."
The men are part of joint special operations, which include more than 4,000 American and Australian special forces with headquarters in Qatar and bases in Jordan, Kuwait and Turkey. Their insertion into Iraq coincides with intensified air attacks.
Read HERE Sophie Morris's article in The Australian, "SAS not yet in action: Minister."
Excerpt from Sophie Morris's article:
Senator Hill's office yesterday (March 4,2003) said no Australian defence personnel were operating in Iraq. His spokeswoman also said Australian troops based in the Middle East had not crossed the border into Iraq. Last Wednesday, Senator Hill gave a categorical assurance that Australian troops were not active in Iraq.
Read HERE the transcript of John Howard's address in Australian Parliament on March 18, 2003 , on Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and how the WMD would affect Australia's security.
"This has not changed since last week," his spokeswoman said yesterday. Senator Hill said Australian troops pre-deployed to the Gulf region in recent weeks for a possible war were not operating in hostile conditions.
"The pre-deployment of Australian forces is not war-like because it is a pre-deployment that's designed to apply pressure to Saddam Hussein in an effort to achieve a peaceful resolution of this issue," he said.
About 2000 Australian Defence Force personnel are now deployed as part of operations Bastille and Slipper in the Gulf theatre. This includes one squadron of 150 troops drawn from the elite SAS regiment based in Perth.
Yet as of today (June 23, 2003), the search for Iraq's WMD is still on. Meanwhile, an official enquiry is underway in London to investigate allegations of untruths and exaggerations by the Blair Government. Tony Blair now stands accused by members of his Labour Party and by his former cabinet ministers, notably, Robin Cook and Clare Short, for misleading the British public.
John Howard's reputation for honesty with the Australian public regarding Australia's involvement in the Iraq war is now open to question.
Monday, June 23, 2003