Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Withdraw from Iraq - sometime - maybe

Australia's Federal Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, is now calling for withdrawal from Iraq. I must have missed his earlier call, but this one comes with an announcement to increase troop numbers from Australia.

Beazley has been a bit wishy-washy on the issue up to now, fearful of voter backlash, but obviously the polls are looking ripe for a bit of backbone.

THe troop build up is token at best; 38 troops and four Bushmaster armoured patrol vehicles would join the 480 Australian troops and 19 Bushmasters at Tallil, in the southern province of Dhi Qar.

But it was enough for 'Bomber' Beazley to get a handle on. He now says this is an 'escalation', and the need for more troops in the country's south showed their new mission was more dangerous.

All in all the call for withdrawal is about impressive as the so called escalation. There are powerful reasons to argue against the country's involvement in Iraq and this must be about the weakest of them.

To be fair, the Bomber did have another constituency to suck up to at the time. Beazley met with the new US ambassador Robert McCallum and was quick to assure him that Labor is committed to a close relationship between Australia and the United States.

The big man squeaks a lot, but to little effect. Asked, back in January, about Labor's timetable for the withdrawal of Australian troops in Iraq, Beazley sidestepped the question and said Australians needed to start making clear arguments to the Americans.

There is only one sure result from sitting on the fence. Doctors will start removing splinters from the opposition leaders backside next week.

2 comments:

Kvatch said...

Their going to increase the troop strength by 9%? Really? Oh...say it isn't so! Those 38 men (women?) must be pissed. (Sorry for the snark, but this is just so 'in the noise' that I can't help myself.)

Mr. Beazley looks like a guy who talks out of both sides of his mouth and may get punched in it.

Cartledge said...

His dfad was someone to be admired, with a fire in his belly. The boy turned out to be another ambitious technocrat, like we need them.
But it's a pretty pissy increase lol