There is now a first class war criminal in the Senate, with the Liberals’ Jim Molan taking the seat vacated by the Nationals’ Fiona Nash, due to her dual citizenship.
Molan played a key role “running the war in Iraq” from 2004, as his modestly titled book implies. His job as Chief of Operations saw him commanding the movement of US and Coalition forces.
Tony Abbott then appointed him as architect of the Coalition’s military operation against refugee boats, Operation Sovereign Borders, in 2010. Molan describes it as a “policy success” and something “every Australian should be extraordinarily proud of”.
In Iraq, Molan was in charge of making the call on bombing targets across the country, using battlefield footage beamed into his office from predator drones.
In his book he boasts of favouring, “a relatively new type of 500-pound bomb called a JDAM—Joint Direct Attack Munition… it could ‘pick up’ a whole house and dump it in the street”.
Among his achievements is his estimate that, “we wiped out the enemy leadership in Mosul twice and about one and a half times in Baghdad” through missile and drone strikes. For Molan that was “very satisfying”.
He helped direct operations against Fallujah in November 2004, the scene of some of the most horrific US war crimes in Iraq. The US laid siege to the city in order to wipe out insurgents, cutting off all exits to the remaining 30,000 to 50,000 civilians. Medical clinics were bombed and the Red Cross prevented from taking in medical supplies. At least 800 civilians were killed. The US has admitted to using white phosphorus there in violation of international law.
While Molan details his efforts to comply with the letter of international law, to him the Iraqi resistance were all simply terrorists and criminals, defined by their “illegality and brutality” and “slaughter of innocents”. He forgets to point out that this was a resistance movement against the US’s illegal invasion of their country.
Molan’s first foray after learning he’d become a Senator was to demand more funding for the Australian military. Not satisfied with the government’s record $34.6 billion spending this year, Molan wants an increase because, he says, Australia can’t simply rely on the US anymore. But we can rely on Molan—to back every military adventure and every escalation of the government’s war on refugees.
By James Supple