To: Prime Minister

Hold an inquiry into the Iraq war

Hold an inquiry into the Iraq war

We call for an independent inquiry into the decisions that led to Australia invading Iraq, and a review of the war powers of the government, to draw out what lessons can be learned for the future.

Why is this important?

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a humanitarian, legal, political and strategic disaster. It has left a trail of death and destruction and millions of refugees. It has undermined the role of international law and strengthened terrorism.

Australia’s role in the war raised very serious questions of government honesty and accountability. If we do not learn lessons from this episode, we are at grave risk of engaging in equally ill-founded wars in the future.

There are many unanswered questions in relation to Australia’s decision to go to war. They include: What was the government’s decision-making process and timing that led to our participation in the invasion? What were the objectives, and how was success to be defined? How did the government reconcile conflicting intelligence assessments?

How did the government attempt to satisfy itself of the legality of the invasion? Which of the many NGO predictions of widespread and severe civilian suffering, including by children, did the government consider? If none, why? To what extent were the statements made to the Parliament and the public consistent with all the available relevant assessments?

Australian troops are entrusted to help safeguard our security. Any suspicion that their lives, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, have been placed in jeopardy on the basis of anything other than the most robust and rigorous decision-making process cannot be ignored.

Both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have initiated official inquiries into their own involvement in the war; Australia has not. Nearly a decade after the war began, it is time we did so.

This petition is organised by the Iraq War Inquiry Group (

Reasons for signing

  • While Australia had two inquiries in 2004, they were not nearly as extensive as the Iraq Inquiry conducted by Sir Chilcot. The Howard Government appears to have received better advice from Australia's intelligence apparatus than the US and UK governments did from their, despite being based on largely the same evidence.
  • The justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq kept changing. This is because the justification was not based on truth and universal principles. Rather it was based on lies and the liar is always on the run from reason and truth. Let the record show that Bush and Howard (and many others) are culpable and that they lied.
  • I have always thought the decision makers within government at the time did not act in good faith nor in the best interests of our country, and the then opposition let us all down too. I want answers from all those involved at the time, from politicians, the top brass, and intelligence agencies, with changes made to our system of government so safeguards stop a war like this happening again.