PM-elect, Kevin Rudd
Australia’s prime minister-elect says the country’s 550 combat troops will leave Iraq by the middle of 2008.
Under Mr Howard Australia was a keen supporter of the US-led invasion and made an early troop commitment.
Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd came to power in a landslide election victory on Saturday.
He has previously described the decision to go to war in Iraq as the “single greatest error” of Australian national security and foreign policy decision-making since the Vietnam war.
Until Mr Rudd’s election victory, the US had counted Australia as one of its few allies in the war in Iraq – although due to the small number of Australian troops deployed, their significance was largely symbolic.
(Source: BBC News)
Country by country, Bush’s allies fall away. Politicians, after all, need the votes of the public to stay in power. And an unjust war, a war of aggression by the US against a tiny, hopelessly outclassed enemy, is a tough sell.
Perhaps if the invading forces hadn’t killed over one million Iraqis, the claim of liberation would be more widely believed? Perhaps if they had secured public order and safety before the oil wells, the accusations of a crusade for oil would have been more widely dis-believed?
I mean, put yourself in the average Iraqi’s position. When Hussein was in power, you lived under the boot of a violent, ruthless killer, installed and supported by the US and UK. Oh, here comes the US and UK – they’ve changed their minds, he’s a baddie now! Yaaay, we’re going to be liberated! Hold on – they’ve killed 1.2 million of us, used chemical weapons in Falluja (something they criticised Hussein for) and the country is in absolute chaos. Oh, and they’ve disappeared and tortured scores of innocent civilians too.
Not much of a liberation, is it?
All of which begs the question…
When will the UK withdraw its support for Bush’s murder spree?