Why Australia is going to war

A majority of Australians are against the war in Iraq. They believe the US motives for invading Iraq are not pure and may be in their self-interest. People cite oil and unfinished business as reasons for the US to invade. But what advantage does Australia have to gain from invading Iraq?

The answer is Trade[1]. Australia is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the US. This will enable our small economy(2% of the world economy), to trade directly with US markets. Australia already has free trade agreements with New Zealand, Singapore and negotiating with Thailand.

Free trade deals and their significance to both our economy and our international politics receive little press coverage. I suspect this is due to strong anti-globalization lobby. Do the newspapers therefore have their own political agenda and not report these deals? Maybe people are just not interested.

I think free trade is necessary. If free trade requires the removal of an evil dictator, maybe this is a reasonable compromise. US control of middle east oil will ensure organization such as OPEC may be subverted, lowing oil costs. This will be beneficial to our economy. So Australia is in a win win situation.

Are we therefore going to let ethics get in the way of money?

[1] - "US free trade deal 'has a downside'" The weekend Australian March 15.