The first causality of war is normally the truth, but in Operation Iraqi
Freedom, this honor might be Simon Crean's. He has said that Australia's
actions are illegal, and that Australia has broken international law.
Simon's problem (like most leftists) is an inability to
think ahead. Many leftist policies sound good until the longer term costs are
considered, and Simon suffers the same myopia.
If Simon were to win the prime-ministership in the next election, Australia would have a prime
minister who, by his own admission, agrees that Australia has illegally invaded
another country. Australia would be liable for reparations and Australian
soldiers, having signed up for Australia's defense and sent to gulf without
given a choice, would be liable for prosecution as war criminals.
Someone clearly pointed out this error today, and he has been repeating the
mantra, but with the repeated clarification "but the decision itself does
not expose Australian troops to legal action as a consequence." He thinks
that this will save his skin.
Of course this is nonsense. The point is that he will have admitted the
actions were illegal, regardless of whether (in his opinion) action can be
taken or not. If you admit to a crime, you admit to a crime. How often you insist
'but I can't be prosecuted for it', is irrelevant.
At the next election voters may be given the choice of voting for someone who
insists that Australia acted correctly, or someone who admits illegality, and
therefore leaves Australia (and Australians) vulnerable to international legal
actions (regardless of whether he insists that action can be taken or not).
On the other hand, Australians may not be given that choice. The
powerbrokers in the ALP may
offer another prime-ministerial contender.
Strictly speaking, shooting yourself in the foot can count you as a war
casualty, though self-inflicted injuries get you little sympathy.