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November 24, 2006

Text Of Australian Memo

Wednesday night the Australian media reported that in early 2002 their ambassador to the U.N. was telling the Australian company AWB that a U.S. attack on Iraq was "inevitable." The information appears in the minutes from a February 27, 2002 AWB board meeting. The minutes are listed on this page from the Cole Inquiry website; you can download them directly here (pdf).

Here's the relevant text, from pages 10-11, with my emphasis added. A screenshot of the memo itself is below the fold. (AWB minutes are printed in Helvetica!)

AWB Limited

Board Meeting No. 48
Date: Wednesday 27 February 2002

Middle East situation

The Chairman met with the Australian Ambassador to the UN, John Dauth, who gave a synopsis of the current conflict in the Middle East. With regard to Iran, the Ambassador noted that, despite the President's State of the Union address and reference to the "Axis of Evil," most acknowledge that US/Iran relations are at an all time high. Accordingly, there appears to be an unofficial agreement between the two countries that despite the language of the President, these comments should be seen as for domestic consumption only. The Ambassador's view was that it was unlikely that the war against terrorism currently being waged in Afghanistan would follow on to Iran in the current political environment.

However, with regard to Iraq, the Ambassador stated that he believed that US military action to depose Saddam Hussein was inevitable and that at this time the Australian Government would support and participate in such action. The Ambassador believed that the Iraqis grossly underestimated the US' reaction to September 11 (with the consequent military response in Afghanistan) and that Iraq's request to re-negotiate UN weapons inspectors was a direct result of their nervousness about US action. The Ambassador believed that the latest "olive branch" from the Iraqis was likely to stave off US action 12 to 18 months but that some military action was inevitable.

The Ambassador felt that engagement in Iraq would be similar to that currently being undertaken in Afghanistan (ie. heavy use of air support followed by deployment of ground troops). He undertook to ensure that AWB was given as much warning as would be possible under such circumstances but noted that in these instances often the Australian Government had little notification. However, he did note that Secretary Powell was running this campaign in a similar way that he ran the Gulf conflict which was to plan meticulously and not rush into conflict.

Posted at November 24, 2006 08:16 AM | TrackBack

However, he did note that Secretary Powell was running this campaign in a similar way that he ran the Gulf conflict which was to plan meticulously and not rush into conflict.

Proving, of course, that the Ambassador had shit for brains.

Posted by: Mike at November 24, 2006 05:38 PM

This is what drives me crazy: Reading about these rich, high-born, patrician assholes calmly discussing and debating the likelihood and feasabibility of MURDERING CHILDREN! That's what they're doing, isn't it?

Posted by: Mimi at November 25, 2006 06:19 AM

Um, this isn't all that important, but it sure doesn't look like Helvetica to me. In particular the 1 and the G's are dead giveaways, and the tailless a's.

Posted by: Rale at November 25, 2006 07:23 AM

BBC reports today that the official enquiry into if the Australian government had bribed Saddam's officials in the UN "Oil for Food" program concluded that there was no wrongdoing.

The commodities and Oil for Food story is going to be a very difficult web to untangle.

Posted by: entlord at November 27, 2006 09:27 AM

I'm an Aussie. I will state categorically: The Howard Govt. had planned to support the illegal invasion of Iraq ONE YEAR before they told the public they were considering supporting the USA. Also, the terms of the enquiry show that the Australian Wheat Board paid Hussein's regime something to the tune of $390,000,000 in kickbacks. This makes the AWB the largest briber of the Baathists in the world. The Australian Govt. CLAIMS not to know anything about it; this is the biggest bullshit line of the year. This info was out on the internet, ferkrisake!!!! Our Govt. is a bunch of crooks and liars.

Posted by: GreginOz at November 27, 2006 10:30 PM