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June 02, 2008

Australia lowers the flag - Bringing their troops home. (Aurvant)

Well, it's official, the Australian Army is leaving Iraq and is heading back home after transferring their duties over to U.S. forces.

While a part of me says "Thanks for all the help" another part of me says "Where the hell do you think your going?" I guess since the surge is working the Aussies feel that they can leave while everything is on the up-and-up and it won't be any skin off anyones back. Unless of course there is a major upswing in attacks on U.S. troops once the Australian's fully leave the area then I can't exactly say that I'll be having a glowing opinion of them.

"Our soldiers have worked tirelessly to ensure that local people in southern Iraq have the best possible chance to move on from their suffering under (Saddam Hussein's) regime and, as a government, we are extremely proud of their service," said Joel Fitzgibbon, Australian Minister of Defence.
Well, it's not like the job is done, but if you say so. All of the allied forces contribution in the Iraq war is an honorable thing, but this removal of troops isn't an indication of anyone finishing the job. No no, it's just a campaign promise to "bring em' home" in the same vein of anti-war appeasement that Obama and Clinton dwell in.

Howard, Rudd's predecessor, said in Australian news reports that he was "baffled" by the decision to withdraw the troops.

"If I had been returned at the last election we would not have been bringing (troops) home, we would have been looking at transitioning
them from their soon-to-be terminated role to a training role," Howard
told the Sydney Morning Herald in an interview published Monday.

Well, I'm not "baffled" at all. If a Prime Minister runs on the platform of removing combat troops from a warzone and constantly promises it in the light of anti-war appeasement then all I can say is "you should have seen it coming.".

However, don't let this withdrawal get to any of you. Australia has assured us that this move won't affect any of our relationships.
In January, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said U.S. and Australian relations remained the backbone of Australian security. He said the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq won't be "anything of any significance in terms of a long-standing, enduring alliance which will last, in my view, for many, many years to come."
I feel much better. Appreciate it.

Maybe I'm being too hard on Australia, but from my point of view I don't think so. Then again, I'm also a giant hardass who doesn't really care about world opinion. I've always been under the impression that when you start a job that you should, ya know, finish the damn thing. I've always believed that quitting when things are "good enough" does not qualify something as "completed".

Eh, anyways, Australia will be keeping around 1,000 troops in Iraq to fulfill non-combat roles, but considering that U.S. troops are still actively engaged in "combat" I don't see those thousand being much in terms of back-up.

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posted by xgenghisx at 08:53 AM

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