Suprise, suprise - Australia's Defence Minister, Brendan Nelson, has once again popped up in the news to re-state the Howard Government's position that Australian troops won't be leaving Iraq as long as they are in power.
Almost everyone else is at least considering leaving. Even, Tony Blair now says he agrees with a call for UK troops to withdraw soon. As for the other members of the Coalition Of The Willing - well, you can see for yourself that most of them seem to have given it up as a hopeless business.
But not Australia. The Government hangs stubbornly, grimly on to the idea that staying in Iraq is the right, the only thing to do. Well, they have to say that don't they. They can't admit that they were wrong, and they certainly won't say to the U.S. "Thanks, but we're gonna call it a day."
Instead they keep feeding us, the Australian public, lines - they might even believe them themselves. One of the most frequent ones we here is, "An Australian troop withdrawal would be a great victory for the terrorists!"
Yes, I can picture it now, in a terrorist "safe house", somewhere deep in the bowels of Iraq. The jihadis (jihadists?) cracking out the hookah pipes and whooping with joy at the news of an Australian troop withdrawal. Noticing one of the terrorists partying particularly hearty, his blood-thirsty mates saying "Wow Ahkmed, we haven't seen you this happy in months!"
And Ahkmed replying, "I have to admit, I've been feeling pretty dispirited lately. I was considering pulling out of the jihad and opening a shoe shop in Baghdad. But now that the Australian troops are pulling out of Iraq, all my enthusiasm has returned! Bombings, kidknappings - it's game on again! Woooooo!"
Another line that's being spun is that an Australian troop withdrawal would be the worst possible outcome for the people of Iraq. Yes, I'm sure the average Iraqi does see that as a worst case scenario. So much more terrible than the lovely time the Iraqis are having at the moment, what with the latest casualty estimates of over 650,000 deaths since the 2003 invasion (even if this figure is exaggerated, I don't know many people who'd think that sizeable numbers of civillian deaths are a good thing).
The fact remains, the Australian troops could leave tomorrow. It wouldn't make much of a difference to the Iraqis - on either side - and it would sure as hell make us a lot safer, even if the U.S. did shut us out of trade talks as a punishment for not doing as we're told. But it won't happen. Australia has become the Dr. Zoidberg of international relations - so pathetically greatful for attention, we'll do anything the U.S. asks of us. Well, I'm sick of it. My taxes may be paying for this, but I'll dust off that old cliche - Not In My Name.
I think the terrorists would claim that the withdrawal of ANY troops was a great victory-they've gotta grasp at every straw.ReplyDelete
Say we ALL withdraw; what happens in Iraq? The 2 flavors of religious extremists there turn on each other... and whoever wins sets up a totalitarian regime over whoever's still alive.
Is that worth preventing? I think that's the REAL question... and answers will vary,
Omni - you have a good point. But when exactly will the Coalition be able to say "the job's done, we can leave"? What situation do they want Iraq to be in for that to happen? I don't know if anyone's actually worked out the answers to these questions. The stock answer may be, "We can go when Iraq has a democratic government that can effectively run the country". But is that even possible?ReplyDelete
I originally wrote a longer post looking at these things, but cut a lot out for readability. However, they're questions that have to ben answered eventually...
...Yes I can just see the leader of Al Quaeda standing on an Aircraft Carrier in a flight suit in front of a banner saying "Mission Accomplished". You wanna talk about grasping at straws?ReplyDelete
Omni doesn't make a good point. Civil war can't be prevented. It's happening already. The western invaders, as they always have, are simply aggrivating the situation. Get out, admit it was a complete mistake and let the chips fall where they may. And take your filthy oil-stealing trucks and Halibruton contracts with you!
As for a breeding ground for "terrorism", what more ground do you need than an illegal invasion based on a snatch and run job on a nation's natural resources? And then of course the subsequent brutal occupation of the country.
"If you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem. Quit being part of the f***ing problem and put the other guy back on."
Well, Noam Chomsky pointed out, for the Coalition to say they can't leave until the Iraqis are ready is akin to the Nazis saying they couldn't leave occupied France until the Vichy government could run things.ReplyDelete
The Coalition forces could leave today. They won't though. Even if Bush et al are, finally, starting to admit things are going wrong.
I also notice John Howard is now preaching the "I was only following orders" line on the invasion. And it's worked too, most Australians don't hold him responsible for what's going on over there.ReplyDelete
Luckily for them Australia is an insignificant country and the opinions of its people worthless.
Lucky, because if the Australians buy that line they must be stupid.
I'm not sure if I appreciate my opinion, and those of everyone I know, being referred to as "worthless".ReplyDelete
In fact I know I don't.
HOORAY!I'm Helping! -Dr.z
"People are paying attention to me!"ReplyDelete
I mean worthless on the global scale, of course. I'm an Australian too, my opinions are equally worthless.ReplyDelete
This is one of the problems with blogs. They tend to create delusions of grandeur. One of the reasons I stopped mine.
I was quoting Dr Zoidberg, not referring to myself.ReplyDelete
One could argue that the opinions of any average individual are worthless, in terms of influence, regardless of nationality
And you would be absolutely correct.ReplyDelete