In the United States, congressional leaders — both Democrat and Republican — have long supported the US war on ISIS. In Australia, though, there is some vocal opposition, including from Australia Senator and Australian Greens Party Leader Christine Milne.
Milne, opposed outright Australia’s involvement in the war in a Friday press release wherein she explains that the war is counterproductive and risks blowback:
“We cannot bring Australians together and combat extremism at home by blindly following the USA into yet another Iraq war,” said Senator Milne.
“It is not as simple as extremists hating us because of our way of life. They are also fuelled by our past engagement in Iraq with the Coalition of the Willing. Fighting US led Western imperialism is a rallying call for jihadists.
“We cannot ignore the fact that arming sectarian militia and dropping bombs in the Middle East will do absolutely nothing to combat extremism and violence at home in Australia and may make it much worse.”
Milne and other senators’ effort to require a Senate debate and vote on Australian military involvement in the war on ISIS failed with 44 “no” votes to 13 “yes” votes. All ten Greens in the Senate were joined in the vote by a Liberal Democratic Party senator, Palmer United Party senator, and one independent senator. Notably, no “yes” votes were cast by any of the Liberal Party of Australia and Australian Labor Party senators who together hold over two-thirds of the Senate membership.
In comparison, neither body of the US Congress has had even such a procedural vote regarding the war that has been operating entirely under the direction of the executive branch.
Speaking on Australia television news channel ABC News 24, Milne further elaborates on her opposition to the war, stating that she thinks it is “time that Australians recognized we need to have our own independent foreign policy” instead of just following the US. She also elaborates on her blowback concerns, explaining that “far from reducing the risk of terrorism at home, this will only elevate that risk” and that “there is no doubt in my mind that entering a Middle East war with the United States will be a rallying cry for jihadists to try and recruit young disaffected people against what they will propose as a Western imperial drive into Iraq and Syria.”
Watch Milne’s ABC News 24 comments here: