Thursday, 15 February 2018
Iraq and Syria
I don't think there's a senator in here today who doesn't agree with me and the Greens that, in the Syrian civil war, we have a horrible, bloody mess and a human catastrophe the likes of which we haven't seen in decades. I also ask senators in here to reflect on the role that we've played with our unilateral, illegal invasion of Iraq—a war based on a lie that has helped trigger the events that have led to this unfolding catastrophe in Syria. I also ask senators in here today to reflect on who has benefited from these years of war in Iraq and Syria. Violent, murderous extremists, dodgy, shady regimes, and weapons manufacturers all around the world are the three groups of people that have benefited from these wars. The only thing we can do is call on our institutions— (Time expired)
As formal motions cannot be debated or amended, they should not deal with complex and contested foreign policy matters. Elements of this motion are, by their nature, complex and contested. As such, the Senate should not vote on this motion without the ability to have a full debate, given the serious and substantial issues involved.
In relation to paragraph (d), as stated already in response to similar motions put forward by Senator Di Natale this sitting fortnight, there is no need for an inquiry into Australia's contribution to military operations in Iraq. The circumstances in which Australia committed forces to the coalition effort in Iraq are a matter of public record and have been subject to parliamentary inquiry. The Australian Defence Force operates under strict rules of engagement in accordance with domestic and international law.