Some good news, at the beginning of our winter of discontent. Australian combat troops are withdrawing from Iraq.
What the hell were we doing there in the first place? We all know the story - the Iraq war was justified by lies. And instead of putting things right when the truth came out, Bush, Blair and Howard spent five years trying to shove the genie back in the bottle. The whole thing has cost us about $2.3 billion dollars directly (I'm not even going to go into what it has cost our standing as a nation).
Still, there's not a huge amount of political mileage for Rudd in this decision; compared to other nations involved, Australia has had very little public backlash against the war and our involvement. It's not hard to see why. Thankfully, Australia has lost no troops in combat in Iraq. That could be because of the excellent standard of our troops, or just possibly because the Australain troops haven't actually done any fighting. They've been the waterboys of the Coalition of the Willing.
And what of the man responsible for the whole sordid mess? John Howard says he has no regrets and has described Kevin Rudd's decision to pull out the troops as "baffling". Thank you Madhatter! Now run along, I'm sure Janette needs help polishing the silver.