Australia Opts Out of the Coalition of the Willing

About 500 Australian combat troops pulled out of their base in southern Iraq on Sunday, fulfilling an election promise by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to bring the soldiers home this year.

Damnn! I SO wish we had these type of sessions with the president. I’ve seen British ‘question time’ sessions on C-SPAN and they can be quite boisterous.

In a ministerial statement at question time in parliament today, Mr Rudd thanked Australian troops for their sacrifice.

“They have performed their mission superbly in a complex, dangerous and unpredictable environment,” he said.

<snip>

Former prime minister John Howard had at the time presented four reasons for going to war: to prevent further terrorist attacks, to stop Iraq giving weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to terrorists, to prevent other rogue states giving WMD to terrorists, and to put an end to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq.

“On every count we on this side of the house rejected these arguments then as we continue to reject them now,” Mr Rudd said.

“Have further terrorist attacks been prevented? No they have not been, as the victims of the Madrid train bombing will attest.

“Has any evidence of a link between WMD and the former Iraqi regime and terrorists been found? No.

“Have the actions of rogue states like Iran been moderated? No.

“We are now informed that Syria has been building a nuclear capacity with North Korean assistance … and Iran’s nuclear ambitions remain a fundamental challenge.

And Bill Sali sought the endorsement of this man . . . who INSISTED there were weapons of mass destruction. Remember?

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