The Hon Stephen Smith MP
PO Box 901 Inglewood
December 10, 2008
Dear Mr Smith
War: not in my name
No one doubts that the death of some 3,000 civilians in the September 11 attacks was devastating and tragic. The event scarred people globally and left behind an agonising emptiness for the loved ones of all those who perished. But seven years on Australia’s complicity with disproportionate revenge has resulted in the slaying of no less than 400 Iraqi civilians, including countless children, for every one person killed on September 11. In other words, the civilian death toll in Iraq is the equivalent of 400 World Trade Centre attacks.
In light of that, and in light of the Rudd Government's espousal of policies of openness and honesty, all Australians deserve to know the true picture.
War in Iraq
In the aftermath of the announcement of Australia’s phased withdrawal from Iraq would you please confirm:
1. Iraqi body count
What, according to your best intelligence, is the current actual or estimated death toll of civilians killed in Iraq? Given that Labor senators in 2005 expressed their indignation at the Howard government for not knowing about or caring enough for civilians killed in the Iraq war, I assume you have continued to take an interest in this issue? (According to the Population Reference Bureau the population in Iraq in mid 2008 was over 29 million.)
2. Iraqi children
(a) Is the Rudd Government aware of the World Vision Trapped! The Disappearing Hopes of Iraqi Refugee Children April 2007 report and its calls upon the international community to provide Iraqi children with education and proper healthcare, for both their physical and psychological needs, and protection for refugee communities? Has the government considered the stories of children like Fawaz (9-years-old), Qazim (13-years-old), Farah (10-years-old) and Salah (12-years-old)? If not, you may care to look.
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