Sunday, July 01, 2007

Claim : Howard Has Top Secret Plan To Abandon America In Iraq

Australia Tells Iraq : We Ain't Leaving

Howard Admits ADF Role In Iraq Should "Already Be Over"

Stuck for an attention grabbing story for the front page, or early pages, of your Sunday newspaper? No sweat, just hype the rumours about Australia pulling its troops out of Iraq just in time for the federal election. Don't worry about whether the story is true or not, or whether your newspaper is ramping up the hopes of military families keen to see their loved ones return home sooner rather than later.

Just concoct a semi-legitimate sounding theory to go with the claims from your "senior military source" and you've got an attention grabbing, newspaper selling story.

From the Sunday Telegraph :

Prime Minister John Howard has a secret plan to begin withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq by February, a senior military source has revealed.

And Mr Howard intends to use the plan to ambush Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd at this year's election.

Mr Rudd has committed Labor to pulling out Australian troops from the increasingly unpopular war, if he wins.

A well-placed source said the plan is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the top levels of the bureaucracy.

It is understood the plan has not yet been put to the Bush Administration or even gone before the National Security Committee of Cabinet.

Is that because it's complete and utter bullshit?

"The Government is quietly saying to Defence: 'We don't want to get caught in Iraq if it comes unstuck for the Americans'," another well-placed source said.

"They want to be ready to go, even before the Americans."

Australia's planned troop withdrawal is expected to begin at the same time the US military is expected to begin drawing down its presence in Iraq in February.

Ha! Bush isn't pulling American troops out of Iraq. At least, not until the shattered US military pull George W. Bush out of the White House.

Most Australians will laugh long and hard to hear that John Howard is planning to do anything in relation to Iraq without first seeking the approval of President Bush.

This whole bucket of rotting fish-heads, passing as a news story, is little more than an attempt to bolster John Howard's appalling poll ratings by making it appear he intends to bring the troops home, after the election, and is planning to do so without seeking the permission of Bush Co. first.

It's little more than an attempt to paint Howard as something other than the Bush Co. bootlick that so many Australians, rightly so, now believe him to be.

The majority of Australians are not going to vote for John Howard again, whether he promises to bring the troops home or not. The prime minister's credibility stinks as badly as that news story.

Although the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, is infamous for lying even when he says "Good Morning", he was doing his master's bidding (Bush, not Howard) when he was in Iraq just the other day, stating Australian troops will remain in Iraq "for the foreseeable future" :

Speaking after talks with Iraqi Government and US military leaders in Baghdad, Mr Downer emphasised there were no plans for a pre-election pullout and that Australia would not walk away from the difficult challenges facing Iraq.

"I made it very clear to the Iraqis while I was there that we would not abandon them," Mr Downer told ABC radio yesterday. "I made it clear Australian troops would stay."

Mr Downer said it was vital that extremism in Iraq was defeated.

What happened to defeating terrorism? Terrorism's okay, is it, now we can't stop it? So we're going to "defeat" extremism instead.

Maybe we should just go for the enforcement of a total ban on smoking in Iraqi restaurants. You know, something clear and achievable.

Another story of interest here, attempts to reframe Howard and his faithful lackeydom when it came to following Bush Co. orders on deploying Australian troops to Iraq back in late 2002, in anticipation of the war that he claims he wasn't sure was actually going to happen when most of the Australian troops had already been told it was going to happen, because that's why they were all there in the first place :

Mr Howard told the Ten Network that he spoke with US President George W. Bush and then defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld about an Australian deployment....

And that was back in mid-2002, but Howard insists to this day it was much later in the year than that.

"The understanding we had with the Americans, when we originally participated, was that after the sharp end was over we weren't going to have any troop presence," he said. "I made it very clear that we would commit forces - if we did commit forces, they'd be committed for the sharp operational stage, the invasion stage if you like, and then after that, we would not be leaving forces on the ground."

Except for all the forces we would be having on the ground, because we told Bush Co. we would be having those forces on the ground, that we were in fact committed, while John Howard was still telling the Australian public that we hadn't yet committed to the war, something he continued to do only 48 before the war began when dozens of missiles ploughed into Baghdad .

Howard has lied so often and spun himself into so many confusing circles about Australia's involvement in the Iraq War, he can no longer keep track of all the threads of disinformation and obfuscation he has hurled at the public over the past five years.

Mr Howard was...forced to defend the role of Australian troops in Iraq, after recent complaints from soldiers that they were being accused by some coalition partners of not pulling their weight.

When Defence Minister Brendan Nelson visited troops in Iraq in April he was questioned about Australia's participation.

"There's really a very real sense that our forces are being withheld from actual combat roles with the exception of the special forces," one soldier said.

"I think that some of our coalition partners are starting to certainly make comment on the ground to soldiers about that."

Yes, they are. And it's been a personally degrading embarrassment for many Australian soldiers in Iraq, who trained to fight a war, who went to Iraq to fight a war, and then found themselves locked out of key battles because the prime minister was, and remains, so utterly terrified of the reaction of the Australian public if military casualties started to enter double digits.

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