Aussie combat troops begin Iraq pullout.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Backpacker1uk, Jun 1, 2008.

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  1. Aussie troops begin arriving from Iraq

    Australian troops have begun arriving home from Iraq, signalling an end to the nation's combat mission in the war-torn country and fulfilling an election promise made by Kevin Rudd.

    The first of about 500 soldiers from the Overwatch Battle Group (West) 4 and Australia's Army Training Team reportedly touched down in Brisbane late Sunday.

    The soldiers had been stationed at Tallil air base, 300km south of Baghdad, and were responsible for providing security training for Iraqi forces, as well as reconstruction and aid work.

    A British military spokesman in the southern city of Basra has confirmed the withdrawal was underway.

    "The Australian battle group is pulling out," the British military spokesman said.

    A flag-lowering ceremony will be held at the base later Sunday.
  2. Shame we do not have a socialist PM of Mr Rudd’s calibre. His agenda also includes holding a referendum on whether the British monarch should remain as Australia’s head of state, more power to you elbow Mr. Rudd.
  3. Give it a rest Finkie. You're becoming quite a bore.

  4. His agenda also includes holding a referendum on whether the British monarch should remain as Australia’s head of state
    Last time they held such a referendum in 1999 it was defeated by a majority of Aussie's voting sensibly to retain the Queen has the Queen of Australia; no doubt the same will happen again! But feel free to continue banging your drum Fin.
  5. That referendum was only defeated because the then PM set it up to fail by offering only a choice between the current arrangement or a very unpopular method of choosing a president. This time hopefully the choice will be simply monarchy or republic, with the detail to be finalised once the basic choice is made.
  6. And perhaps the vast majority of Aussie's will want to know exactly what they will be voting for rather than just a simple Monarchy/Republic choice, plus I dare say the Monarchist movement will conduct another successful campaign to maintain the Status Quo. I seem to remember reading somewhere that The Queen is actually the Head of one of the Australian States, Queensland and this fact could cause problems for the Republican movement?
  7. It's also time that the government followed the Ozzies lead and withdrew all our troops from Iraq.
  8. yawwwwwwn...zzzzzzzz.
  9. Come on brown hatters overalls on and off to bed.
  10. Hahaha Touche.
  11. When one steps into an erstwhile politically stable, albeit unpleasantly governed Country, remove the Government, destroy the administrative infrastructure and much of the essential facilities, make cross border infiltration and interference from neighbouring States widespread and easy while opening the way for Civil War, one may have some responsibility to make good the damage and not pretend it was already broken when you got there. On the strength of blatant lies, the Coalition broke Iraq and it would seem reasonable that it (including the UK and Australia) has a duty (an old fashioned and rare concept, today) to make all efforts to mend it.

    Given the origins of the Socialist movement, affiliation to that cause should not immediately translate to fecklessness. It is sad that it now seems to.
  12. Yes I agree. Hats off to the Americans for their continious efforts in Iraq, Most Americans realise that the war was wrong but most would like to see the job finished with a positive outcome which i find impressive especially with the amount of casualties they have conceded.
    There are however plenty of so called coaltion nations with troops in Iraq who have jumped on the crusaders bandwagon and contributed little more than a huge bill from KBR for the amount of time spent in the DEFAC (galley.) Iraq has been and still is full of these nations who dare to leave the confines of the US bases. Theres alot of shit said about US and British troops but apart from Britain the Yanks and the Polish i haven't seen the rest of the willing get their hands dirty half as much. Spin a good dit back home they will Im sure.The extraction off the whole Aussie taskforce won't be a sore loss.
    Get the job done i say, Iraq has improved massively over the past year i've seen it with my own eyes.
  13. So could you put a figure on how many more of our troops should die in the doomed to failure task of sorting out Blair and now Browns cataclysmic policy decisions regarding Iraq?
  14. I will hazard a guess that the number should be less than one and that The Bliar will one day be charged with war-crimes.

    I am constantly amazed at the number of apologists who were happy to send other people's kids off to fight for these lies. I would recommend that in future when a war is proposed then all politicians have their kids and grand-kids immediately conscripted to front-line service. If either of The Bliar minors had been in the firing-line then you would be reasonably certain that things would have been handled differently.

    As for the Aussies - just another country that rode on the coat-tails of King George in the hope of the spoils of war. They have done jack in Iraq and will not be missed, either by the coalition or by the Iraqis - luckily Rudd had the good sense to extract them at the earliest politically safe opportunity.

    From An Australian Press Release:

    Australia is a staunch U.S. ally and was one of the first to commit troops to the Iraq war. But it placed only special forces on the ground, not infantry, as well as supplying support forces, ships and aircraft.

    Australia has almost 4,000 soldiers, sailors and air crews serving overseas, in Iraq, Afghanistan and seven other deployments. But it has only 500 frontline troops in Iraq, which it will withdraw later in 2008 and whose main role is force protection and training, and 300 special forces in Afghanistan.

    Australia's former conservative prime minister, John Howard, who committed troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, said Australia's military contribution to the U.S.-led war on terror was crucial and any troop withdrawal would be a sign of defeat.

    But Hammett said frontline troops dismiss Howard's claim.

    "At the coalface ... such sentiments are dismissed as political rhetoric, as serving members from the United States, Britain and Canada lay their lives on the line in support of their governments objectives whilst the Australian infantry appear to do little more than act as interested spectators ...," he wrote.

    The government policy of using special forces only for combat and keeping the infantry away from the fighting had exposed Australian troops to "near contempt" from other allied soldiers serving in Iraq, said Hammett, who interviewed infantry troops.

  15. That is a shame, and I no doubt believe the majority of Oz troops feel bad about being a political ping pong. :threaten:
  16. The Australian political class attempted to extract the maximum leverage for supporting Bush with all the razzamataz of the Diggers going off to foreign climes to make the world safe for democracy in the US GWOT. The majority of Australians were totally against John Winston Howard's adventurism as the majority of Brits were against The Bliar and his transparent lies. What Howard and his ilk didn't want were dead Australian troops because that would look bad on TV and really turn the great Australian unwashed against him and his party.

    So the Australians went off to invade Iraq intent on not involving themselves in any of the nasty stuff like fighting and dying but waving enough flags and beating enough drums to leverage a seat at the table when Iraq's oil was divvied up.

    It will be interesting how they spin this latest victory as they march around Circular Quay. Blow-back or what :thumright:

  17. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Army chief admits morale concerns over lack of combat
  18. Some of the Ocker comments are interesting; eg

  19. I can see why the average Digger is annoyed that the active seeking out of the enemy was left to the special forces mob while he was stuck with routine security, patrolling and training. The average Australian soldier is well trained in the small unit counterinsurgency operations required in this theatre and could do the job, but for political reasons is not being allowed to.

    Also, one has to ask if the conventional operations being conducted by our allies are actually achieving anything. There was the case in Afghanistan where our Dutch allies requested support in clearing out Taliban from a village. The idea was to go in mob-handed after an artillery barrage had softened up any resistance. It was pointed out to the eager Cloggies that as soon as the first shell landed the Taliban would scarper and the only thing being pounded would be the local villagers and their houses. The Australians therefore declined to be involved, preferring to rely on their proven tactics which have probably done more damage to the baddies than any of the clumsy, manpower intensive operations of some of our allies.
  20. One of the bravest Australians and one whom most people will have never heard is Andrew Wilkie. He had the honesty to call bullshit on John Howard and the Australian twisting of intelligence in order to attack Iraq.


    Until he quit nine days before the attack on Iraq, Andrew Wilkie was a senior analyst in Australia's premier intelligence agency, the Office of National Assessments (ONA).

    Of all the Australian, British, and American all-source intelligence analysts with direct knowledge of how intelligence was abused in the run-up to the war, Wilkie was the only one to resign in protest and speak truth to power.

    Those who dismiss such efforts as an exercise in futility should know that on Oct. 7, 2003, the Australian Senate, in a rare move, censured then-Prime Minister Howard for misleading the public in justifying sending Australian troops off to war.

    The Senate statement of censure noted that Howard had produced no evidence to justify his claims in March 2003 that Iraq had stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, and it castigated him for suppressing Australian intelligence warnings that war with Iraq would increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks.

    One senator accused Howard of "unprecedented deceit."

    Thanks to Wilkie's courage and determination , many Australians were able to come to an early understanding that the reasons adduced for war on Iraq were cooked in Washington and served up by Australian leaders all too willing to give unquestioning support to the Bush administration.

    Those Australian leaders are now being held accountable.

    Matilda is waltzing home from Iraq, and the Australians are lucky but chastened.

    Lucky for having lost not one soldier in combat of the 2,000 sent to join the "coalition of the willing" attack on Iraq in March 2003.

    Chastened because Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is now pulling no punches in decrying the subservience of his predecessor, John Howard, to Washington.

    Announcing the withdrawal of the 550 Australian troops still in Iraq on Monday, Rudd echoed recent charges by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan about the Bush administration's "shading" of intelligence to "justify" an unnecessary war.

    Rudd told Parliament he was most concerned by "the manner in which the decision to go to war was made; the abuse of intelligence information, a failure to disclose to the Australian people the qualified nature of that intelligence"; and the government's silence on "the prewar warning that an attack on Iraq would increase the terrorist threat, not decrease it."

    Rudd added:

    "This government does not believe that our alliance with the United States mandates automatic compliance with every element of the United States' foreign policy."

    Stung by Rudd's candor, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino fell back on the canard that "the entire world" agreed on the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. As President Lyndon Johnson would have put it, that dog won't hunt.

    If all agreed, why then was President George W. Bush unable to secure the approval of the UN Security Council, without which an armed attack on another country is illegal under international and U.S. law?

    Among "coalition of the willing" leaders not named Bush, only the faith-based former British Prime Minister Tony Blair hangs on pathetically to the notion that "everyone" believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs.

    This is particularly odd since Blair acknowledges the authenticity of the (in)famous Downing Street Memos. Perhaps his conversion to Catholicism will prompt him to confess that he lied – a reality long beyond dispute.


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