Australia Must Stand up Against Acts of Terrorism in Northern Iraq

AUSTRALIA is already having a debate about the involvement of its military forces in northern Iraq and that's a sign of a healthy democracy.

What we don't need is a parliamentary vote to determine if, how and where, our troops might be deployed to assist one of the most complicated, and horrendous, attacks on civilians in recent

times.

The Prime Minister, and his cabinet, are elected because we want them to make decisions on these matters. It's important that the information required to make these decisions is held in a certain realm of secrecy so as to not alert others to our plans.

What is unique about the current conflict in Iraq is that the United States is being conservative in its approach.

That certainly wasn't the case in 2003 when allied forces stormed Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction.

That venture will be held as largely a failure with, still today, the immense loss of life doing little to ease unrest in the country.

The Australian Greens, and a small number of independents, were shouted down in Parliament yesterday in trying to force a debate.

Greens leader Senator Christine Milne makes the point that there has been very little clarity in pinpointing where engagement in warfare in Iraq will result in

success.

Currently Australia is assisting with flying in weaponry and food to assist Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State movement which has bipartisan support.

Sending in troops, however, has been ruled out by PM Tony Abbott.

We would expect that should this situation change, Mr Abbott would engage a broader conversation both in parliament and with the Australian people about our commitment.

The outrageous actions of IS in Iraq cannot and will not be tolerated by the rest of the world. It is important that Australia stands up against acts of terrorism, as we know only too well that the impact extremism has on our people.

What we do know is that the world is a very different place to 2003.

No one wants to see a repeat of sending troops to a war we cannot win.

We must however entrust the nation's leadership to make the right decisions, and to ensure they are made for the right reasons.

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