Ethics & International Affairs

Intervention after Iraq

Against the New Internationalism

Anthony Burke


When I think of the challenges facing international society in the wake of the invasion of Iraq, two images come to mind. The first, a work of postcard art, depicts a screenprint of the Statue of Liberty, with a twist. In the place of her striking face and radiating crown appears a decidedly masculine image: that of a helmeted marine, grim and tight-jawed, a cigarette poking insolently from his lips. The caption reads, in bold white capitals on black, “PEACE,” and beneath it another phrase, asterisked: “conditions apply.” The second is a newspaper photograph of a young woman in New York taken during the global demonstrations against the war in February 2003. She has been called out of the march by the photographer and stands, at once defiant and bewildered, against a row of mounted police. Rugged up against the winter cold, she holds a placard upon which she has written a question: “Perpetual war for perpetual peace?”

Anthony Burke is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is the author of In Fear of Security: Australia's Invasion Anxiety (2001). He has two new books forthcoming in 2006: Beyond Security, Ethics and Violence: War against the Other and Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific (coedited with Matt McDonald). He is currently working on an Australian Research Council-funded project on the politics and ethics of the use of force.