One of the most shameful episodes in Australia's history has come to an end, with the commencement of the withdrawal of our combat troops from Iraq.
The withdrawal came more or less with a whimper, and certainly not telegraphed in advance. Earlier this year the Senate Estimates Committee was told that Australia's role in Iraq was complete, and this was confirmed by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston yesterday (video). We, of course, should never have been there, an aggressor nation (along with the USA, UK and numerous smaller members of the "Coalition of the Willing") invading a sovereign entity on the other side of the world, on the basis of fabricated "intelligence". The acronym for the original (subsequently discarded) US name for the invasion, "Operation Iraqi Liberation", sums up the underhanded motives fairly well.
Kevin Rudd's statement to the House of Representatives yesterday can be read here. As a point of reference, Rudd's contribution, as shadow minister for defence, to the March 2003 parliamentary debate following John Howard's decision to go to war, is here.
The Irrelevant Doctor's statement in reply can be read here. Sadly, he spent much of the opening two paragraphs talking about 11 September 2001 and prior Al Qaeda actions, none of which had anything to do with Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi nation (and here is TID's speech of 19 March 2003 supporting the war).