Attila the Pun
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Brown from the waist down

Howard has announced that we will be sending a further contingent of 450 troops to Iraq. Their roles will include providing security for the Japanese troops stationed in the area and training Iraqi security forces.

The Japanese Government is happy at the announcement, as the Australians will be taking over the responsibility for the security of the Japanese engineers after the Dutch pull out. Britain is also happy, as they had previously agreed to take over this role. The deployment has also been approved by the interim Iraqi Government.

So who isn't happy? Bob Brown of course.

Senator Brown, in Perth for Senate hearings into the Iraq's wheat debts, said the move was both terrible and outrageous.

The troops are going to help protect other soldiers, as well as rebuilding roads and schools. This is "terrible" according to Brown.

"John Howard never told voters he would be sending 450 more troops to Iraq, never indicated that in the election campaign," he said.

"He effectively misled the Australian electorate on this issue and it is a huge mistake for Australia."

Thats because we hadn't been asked yet Bob. Howard also attacked Latham (he used to lead the Labor party) for his pledge to bring the troops home by Christmas. Hardly the actions of a man attempting to mislead the electorate about his intentions regarding troop deployment.

Senator Bartlett also had a crack, but is at least more sane:

"We understand there is a certain amount of 'You broke it, you fix it' for countries such as Australia that were part of the coalition of the willing," Senator Bartlett said.

"But we also ask the Government to get the bull out of the china shop and get all foreign troops out of Iraq as soon as possible, particularly any that are involved in any way in combat activities."

Couldn't agree more - the tricky part is when it will be "as soon as possible". I look forward to the day that all foreign troops leave Iraq as there is no longer any need for them. Regretably, that day isn't here yet. One of the things that will bring it closer is the training of Iraqi security forces, which is one of the jobs the diggers are going over to do.

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