Troops out of Iraq

c. 2001

Donated by John Ellis

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

The First Gulf War of 1990–91 was in response to Iraq’s invasion and occupation of its rival oil-exporting neighbour Kuwait. Following a month of air attacks, a United Nations-authorised task force from thirty nations, including Australia, moved against Iraqi positions in Iraq and Kuwait, causing Iraqi forces to retreat and hostilities to cease.

In 2002 the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1441, which called for Saddam Hussein’s regime to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors to verify that Iraq was not in possession of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons).

In 2003 the United States demanded military action against Iraq, stating that it was concealing such weapons and alleging links with terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda. Unable to secure United Nations’ backing for military action, the United States and its ‘coalition of the willing’, including the United Kingdom and Australia, commenced operations against Iraq. Between 2003 and 2009 more than 20,000 Australian Defence Force personnel saw service in Iraq.

The donor of this badge, John Ellis, writes:

I wore this anti-Iraq/Afghanistan War badge intermittently to demonstrations and to other events. It was worn to protest the bombing of Iraq and the on-going appalling loss of lives and the destruction that continues to the present day. The popular feeling after 9/11 was that these actions were in retaliation for the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York. However, after many years of protesting US foreign policies, I feel the principle reason behind the wars has more to do with oil supplies to the US.

This badge is important to me as it demonstrates my opposition to war. I wore it to let people know how I felt and hopefully to influence them. When wearing the badge, it was a connection with other peace activists.