Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Australian troops under attack in Iraq: "Australian army trainers in northern Iraq have come under repeated attack, including a deadly suicide bombing at their heavily fortified compound, and there are fears of worse to come.... Mortar and rocket attacks and car bombs were increasingly familiar events for Australians, he said. 'The army trainers have been doing it tough up there in northern Iraq. A number of attacks have occurred on the team. It has got to the stage that, when they go and do some big event, there are rockets and mortars fired in. Thank God the bad guys are bad shots.' Not so inaccurate was a suicide car bomber who rammed into the Australian compound two months ago. No Australians were hurt in the attack but Defence sources said several Iraqi military trainees were killed."

"It was revealed yesterday that the Government rejected a request from the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, in July to send more forces to protect UN workers. Labor criticised the decision, saying it would have sent the troops, but the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, said Australia had discharged its responsibilities."

What a nonsensical position for Labor to adopt. The war was illegal, based on a lie, and is a disaster. The troops should be brought home NOW. How difficult is it to clearly state that position? The waffling, the lack of vigour, principle and consistency must be one reason Labor failed to make any impact on the electorate at the recent federal election. They make Howard and Downer look 'strong' instead of disastrous.

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