Death of Major-General Stretton, Iraq war critic, goes unmarked

In today's Canberra Time (14 November), MAPW member Dr Sue Wareham OAM asks why the death of Major- General Alan Stretton has been overlooked. Dr Wareham writes:

"It is astonishing and deeply regrettable that Major-General Alan Stretton’s death has not even been mentioned in Parliament. ('Parliament overlooked cyclone Tracy hero Stretton', CT Nov 9). He truly was a hero in the aftermath of Darwin’s 1974 disaster, being named Australian of the Year the following year."

"However Stretton’s views would not all have found favour in the corridors of power, specially his views on the invasion of Iraq. In 2006 he wrote, “From the start, our involvement in Iraq has been a military and political catastrophe”, and that it would have lasting consequences for peace and security. He referred scathingly to the lack of UN authority for the war, the fact that it was based on falsehoods, and its role in increasing terrorism."

"Many senior Australians have called for an inquiry into the process by which Australia became involved in such a war, to learn for the future how we as a nation can ensure we never repeat the mistakes of 2003. No decision to go to war should be made on the basis of lies by a powerful leader with no parliamentary approval. Dictatorships operate like that, not democracies."

"There is little doubt that Stretton would support such an inquiry. Perhaps he could be honoured by a serious consideration of the proposal rather than the perfunctory dismissal it has received by our leaders thus far."