Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Australian academic John Quiggin is upset that additional Australian soldiers will be sent to Iraq:

Just as US soldiers and National Guards who’ve completed their tours in Iraq are being conscripted by stop-loss orders, recalls and the like, then sent back for a second round, Australia has received new orders. The New Europeans (Spain, Poland, Netherlands and so on) are all pulling out, and its up to us to fill the gap.

Afraid not John, 450 Aussies being sent to Iraq is nothing close to, much less just like, the American commitment and recommitment of forces. And while Aussie forces are surely some of the world's best, there aren't enough of them to fill the gap. But, there's more:

Of course, there’s no mention of the US in Howard’s announcement. Supposedly, this is a response to personal requests from the British and Japanese Prime Ministers. Older readers will recall that exactly the same farce was played out with our commitment of troops to Vietnam. Anyone who believes the government’s line might reflect on what kind of response Blair and Koizumi would get if they requested from Howard something the Bush Administration didn’t like, such as ratification of Kyoto.

Yep, it's Vietnam redux alright: we're fighting a ruthless enemy and you'd prefer we did it with one hand tied behind our back. And our PM, he doesn't care if a few - maybe lots - of his countrymen get killed, not so long as he can do Bush's bidding.

Regardless, the gratuitous linkage to Kyoto is a sure sign of desperation.


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