Thursday, July 05, 2007

Australians in Iraq

Oz Defence, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

The morphing of left leaning press over the issue of Australian Soldiers in Iraq is in direct contrast to the consistency of the Australian Federal Government.

In 2002, Australia went into Iraq for regime change in response to the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction that had been used, and were being hidden, by Saddam Hussein's administration. Subsequent to the invasion has been a security nightmare with internal and external sources threatening to destablise the nation for advantage.

It is not in the ALP's advantage to claim 'we wuz robbed' over wmds, as they now do. It is an advantage to ALP leaders who are searching for a scapegoat to hide their flip flopping over the issue. ALP leadership is not the same as ALP interest, nor Australian interest. The Federal government has been consistent, lying will not make the ALP consistent.

The press still run outrageous headlines, however.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Iraq: Now it's about oil supply by and wires staff writers
THE Defence Minister today listed the security of the world's oil supply as one of the major reasons for Australia's continuing military presence in Iraq as John Howard spelled out plans to keep troops in the country.

The Prime Minister said Islamic extremists remained a threat to Australia and it would be against "our national character" to let terrorists prevail.

He has again ruled out any timetable for withdrawing soldiers from the country plagued by sectarian conflict and regular deadly attacks against coalition forces.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd accused the Government of "making up its policy as it goes", saying the war had made Australia a greater terrorist target and jeopardised global oil supplies.

Oil supply

Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said this morning the role of the defence forces included protecting the economy as well as physical security, and it was important to support the "prestige'' of the US and UK.

Dr Nelson said energy security was extremely important to all nations.

"We need to ensure, notwithstanding the significant natural resources that our country has been blessed with, that we are able to access the energy requirements in our region and throughout the world," he said on ABC radio.

"If we allow Iraq and the Middle East not to have some sort of sustainable stability in the future, amongst many things, that will affect the energy supply for many nations, including developing nations throughout the world."

In a major speech outlining the Government's defence priorities today, Mr Howard said Australian troops needed to stay in Iraq to support the US.

"Our major ally and our most important economic partners have crucial interests there," Mr Howard said in Canberra.

"Despite the dreadful continuing violence and our frustration at the rate of political progress, the Government remains committed to staying in Iraq with our coalition partners until the Iraqi security forces no longer require our support.

"The consequences of western failure and defeat in Iraq are too serious to allow our policy to be dictated by weariness, frustration or political convenience."

Credibility gap

When Australia joined the US-led invasion force of Iraq in 2003, the Government said it was primarily because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that could pose a threat to the US and its allies.

"When Mr Howard was asked back in 2003 whether this war had anything to do with oil, Mr Howard said in no way did it have anything to do with oil,'' Mr Rudd said. "This Government simply makes it up as it goes along on Iraq.''

Mr Rudd said it had been a mistake to send troops into Iraq in the first place.

"Mr Howard should follow Labor's lead and have a clear cut exit strategy from Iraq,'' he said.

"Australia's involvement in the Iraq war continues to make Australia a greater terrorism target than we'd otherwise be.''

He said Iraq was now a "magnet, inspiration and training ground for international jihadists".

"There are many inconvenient truths facing the Howard government, but one of the most inconvenient is the fact that Mr Howard's decision to participate in the invasion of Iraq is nothing less than the greatest failure of Australia's national security interests since Vietnam."


Mr Howard said it was vital for Australia to tackle security threats far from home.

"It will remain the case that, because of our size and location, Australia cannot afford to wait until security threats reach our shores before we do anything about them," he said.

"Whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, it would not only run counter to our national interests, but also to our national character to let (terrorists) prevail."

Intelligence assessments indicated Australia was likely to be called on to take the lead in a range of possible missions in the region over the coming years, he said.

Mr Rudd also reaffirmed Labor's support for continued Australian troop deployment in Afghanistan, saying this was in keeping with the nation's mutual defence treaty with America.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story from the Australian Associated Press incorrectly reported the Prime Minister as saying oil was a reason for Australia's continued military presence in Iraq.