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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:47 AM
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Australian opposition ignores US, Iraqi concerns on troop withdrawal
Australian opposition ignores US, Iraqi concerns on troop withdrawal




SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's main opposition party refused to back down on a pre-election pledge to withdraw troops from Iraq (news - web sites) by Christmas, despite warnings from Baghdad and Washington that this would damage the coalition.




Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi urged Australia not to pull its troops from his war-torn country, echoing concerns voiced Saturday by Bush administration heavy hitters Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Armitage.


Despite the pressure, Labor refused to alter its pledge and said there was no role for Australian troops in Iraq.


"We are not central to the peacekeeping effort in Iraq and what Labor says is that we've got other priorities, we want to concentrate on those priorities and we want our troops out of Iraq," Labor's defence spokesman Chris Evans told Channel Nine.


Evans restated Labor's policy of having troops home by Christmas if it wins government in national elections due late this year and barring any delay in handing over power to an Iraqi administration at the end of June.


Labor is leading Australia's conservative government in opinion polls and the future of the Iraqi troop deployment is looming as a key issue in the election.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/2004...
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Tashi Donating Member (61 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. Australian opposition ignores US, Iraqi concerns on troop withdrawal
We only have 280 troops on the ground in Iraq Flagg. so don't get alarmed. I like Mark Latham and think he'd make a fine leader. John Howard's government is the worst one Australia has ever had.
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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm not alarmed. Quite the contrary actually
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Hi Tashi!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:56 AM
Response to Original message
3. Howard biting the dust too? good. n/t
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:02 AM
Response to Original message
4. Props to the Australian Opposition!
The whole planet will be better off when it ignores US concerns. The only thing that the US is really concerned about is its own greedy ass.

BTW, what coalition?

:freak:
dbt
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Andrushka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:11 AM
Response to Original message
5. Good news
Finally, a Labour leader with balls! Good on them for not backing out on the pledge made some time back to withdraw the troops. Whilst most Aussies have good feelings towards the US, I don't know anyone at home (I am an Aussie, living in Japan) that hasn't cringed at the sight of the fawning, obsequious Howard when it comes to relations with the B*sh regime.

Labour has its priorities right: To distance itself from the arrogant policies of the B*sh cabal. While I don't like the thought of the US being left out in the 'cold', sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind, as the song goes!
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the Kelly Gang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. why would anyone take notice of that sleazebag Chalabi ?
how has this man lasted so long.? His days must be numbered. no wonder he has to have a private army of 600 paid for by the US taxpayer.
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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
7. Here's the problem I've having with "Australia."
Not with the people of Australia.
Not with any decision to withdraw peacekeeping troops.
But with the credibility the name "Australia" gave to the Bush* push to invade Iraq.
The bottom half of the bell curve hears "Australia is with us," and they mistakenly assume that the entire country and the full weight of the Australian government agree with our freak monkey pResident.

I blame the media for not publishing weekly updates concerning the size and scope of "Coalition" involvement and support.

I have the same problem with "Spain" and "Italy."
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I see your point, displacedtexan.
When the Australians have got your back, it's literally "no worries." Unlike the Americans, the Australians probably won't think twice about showing Howard the door just because he lied to them. We'll wring our hands and fret for months about getting rid of our "decisive wartime president." :puke:

You are bang on about the "bottom of the bell curve." The very word Australia instantly means "hard-assed integrity" in this country. Damn shame that the bu$h gang somehow managed to get the Aussies involved in this little War For Profit!!

:loveya: to Australia,
dbt
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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:03 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Bush and Blair will now try to damage Australia's global reputation...
if Australia does, in fact, withdraw peacekeeping troops.
They will probably try to label Australia as decidedly French.
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the Kelly Gang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. That is why the US Ambassador, State Dept and now Wolfwitz
all trying to discredit Latham and prop up Howard who has been un-like any PM in his subservient attitude to Bush & Blair.
He will be voted out this year but he has damaged Australia and the US's traditional links even thought he US will always view Australia as an ally for the most selfish reason..Pine Gap..the biggest and most secret communications and spy centre in the world and crucial to US interests.
Howard has seriously damaged Australia's reputation in the Middle East and throughout Asia and it will take many years to repairjust as Bush etc have done to US relations world-wide.

Mark Latham & John Kerry will have their work cut out and are the only hope.
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rooboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Howard is most similar to "Pig Iron" Bob Menzies...
who gushed over the monarchy and didn't think too highly of colored people. He got the nickname "Pig Iron" because he sold pig iron to the Japanese who then turned around and bombed us with it.

That makes Howard eerily similar, imho.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Howard loves to talk about the great Australian traditions of mateship
and the "fair go", but he couldn't be a bloke if he tried. One
thing Australians don't do is crawl, and Howard is an embarrassment
to any true Australian. Apart from that he is the most
mean-spirited, narrow-minded, backward-looking, devious, spiteful
and divisive prime minister this country's ever seen. We've had
a few dopes along the way, but none as obnoxious or obsequious as
Howard.

Truth is, I don't think anybody really likes him very much, but the
Liberals were desperate when they appointed him - they'd had dud
after dud for about ten years, and Howard was the only candidate
still standing. When he leads his party to defeat this year, it
will be a race to see if he can resign before they throw him out.
He has been a dull and uninspiring leader to all but the Monarchist
toadies, and I look forward to his political demise with infinite
delight.

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