We asked this question after the PM announced the placement of 450
troops to Iraq last week to relieve and protect Japanese troops. And
the response has come thick and fast. Some were short and
sharp: “He’s always eager to please George,” writes Clive Davies. While
an international merchant banker scolds: “Crikey, not everything is a
conspiracy. Perhaps acting as a solid ally and contributing to global
security is what’s in it for us.”

“We are paying the price for
our deployment in East Timor,” writes Thomas Loader. “The office of
Deputy Sherrif comes with both advantages and responsibilities. John
Howard is a master, as all great politicians are, of hiding the true
reason for doing something, and this can be seen as an effort to show
that there are many different countries in Iraq (not just US, GB and

“Don’t ask John Howard about the next stage of
deployment, because that is always to be decided. Go further into a
possible future and get him to rule out introducing conscription.

“I’ll sign up to Crikey for two years if he says that he won’t.”

There’s a challenge, Thomas. How about it Prime Minister, what say you?
Time for conscription to boost troop levels for our thinly-spread
battle-ready battalions? Meantime, check out the vigorous response from
subscribers to this issues on site here:

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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