12 Aug. 2007

Let's Face It: Rudd Will Keep Troops In Iraq

Australia has about 900 soldiers in Iraq, including 515 in the Overwatch Battle Group, which is based at Tallil in Dhi Qar province in southern Iraq. Despite all Howard and Downer's talk of a Labor withdrawal, Kevin Rudd has only ever promised to withdraw those 515 soldiers in Tallil, not the other 400. And even that withdrawal has always been based on a "consultation will allies". And even that will only happen "after six months".

Now Labor's new "khaki" candidate, former Army officer Mike Kelly, has given the game away. Aussie troops under a Labor government will not be withdrawn, just redeployed:
Mr Kelly, the endorsed Labor candidate for the Liberal held seat of Eden-Monaro, said the resources in this substantial deployment could be better used in helping the Iraqi government in other areas.

"You have got to look at the actual situation on the ground in relation to our contribution at the moment," he told ABC radio.

"Our troops are not the primary security provider in the south, in the location they are based in at the moment. There has already been a handover to the Iraqi security forces.

"Principally they are there now really as a flag waving exercise by the Government.

"As professional and as wonderful as those troops are, you have got to remember that they are a precious asset and we have to use them to the maximum effect."

... Mr Kelly, who served in Iraq as an Australian army lawyer with the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, said the massive amount of resources invested in their presence needed to be refocused to areas and others tasks producing a better return.

"It would mean converting the resources that we are expending on keeping them there as merely a back-up to helping to reinforce the Maliki government in the areas that it needs to improve on," he said.
There is only one conclusion here: if you want to see Australian troops out of Iraq, VOTE GREEN!

In other news:

1. Howard's terrorist government will continue trying to scare the shit out of ordinary people as ADF soldiers fire guns for two days during APEC training in Martin Place.

2. The soldier who blew the whistle on the Abu Ghraib scandal, Joe Darby, says Donald Rumsfeld personally blew his identity live on TV:
When the accused soldiers were finally removed from the base, he thought his troubles were over.

And then he was sitting in a crowded Iraqi canteen with hundreds of soldiers and Donald Rumsfeld came on the television to thank Joe Darby by name for handing in the photographs.

"I don't think it was an accident because those things are pretty much scripted," Mr Darby says.