Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Latham dream run trips on Iraq: "Strong public support for Australian troops to remain in Iraq 'until the job is done' has been revealed by the latest Herald poll amid the first signs that Mark Latham's honeymoon with voters could be ending."

"In the poll, conducted by ACNielsen, only 35 per cent thought that Australia's 850 troops in and around Iraq should be brought home immediately - a more rapid withdrawal than proposed by Mr Latham last week. It also reveals that two-thirds of voters believe a terrorist attack in Australia is likely within two years."

"Labor's decision to withdraw the troops could also run counter to the wishes of the United Nations. Diplomatic sources say it is highly likely that a new UN resolution will sanction the transition to democracy in Iraq after the handover from military control on June 30."

This issue will be something of a test for Latham, to find whether he has some courage and principle, or whether he is weak and poll-driven. As the newly elected Spanish Prime Minister has said, the war was a disaster, the occupation is a disaster, the troops have to come home.

The United States and its allies invaded Iraq not because of WMDs and terror links but because it wants to control the oil of the country and the region, and in order to set up long term military bases. They did this knowing that it would increase the risk of radical Islamist terrorist attacks against themselves while at the same time claiming that they were fighting a 'war on terror'. It is actively denied that the terrorist attacks against Western and especially US targets is a response to decades of Western and US colonialism, imperialism, occupation and intervention in Middle Eastern countries. Instead the attacks are explained away on the basis that the terrorists 'hate us and hate Western values.'

The US cannot withdraw from the country (otherwise what would have been the point of invading?) unless it is politically and militarily defeated. The so-called 'transition to sovereignty' and 'democratisation' of Iraq is a charade. For a national leader such as Latham may become, some sort of acceptable statement must be made but the fundamental question is whether or not the troops are withdrawn and before Christmas is more than long enough. Australia must cut all links with this criminal misadventure.

No comments: