“Time to cut and run: Beazley,” the Sydney Morning Herald splashes today. “The US, Australia and its allies must now seriously consider pulling their forces out of Iraq, Kim Beazley said.”
The Bomber hiding in his hangar? Well, have a look at what he had to say to Mike Carlton on 2UE on November 25 last year:
BEAZLEY: Yet having told the Australian people that our troops in Al Muthanna were there to protect the Japanese, it seems to me that John Howard is flirting with some mechanism to try and keep them going or try and keep a commitment going in Iraq. Iraq was the wrong war. Iraq increased the level of terrorist threat. It didn’t diminish the level of terrorist threat – it’s become a magnet. Our troops and the American troops and the British troops there have become a magnet for every ratbag in the Middle East who wants an opportunity to …
CARLTON: To make a name for himself.
BEAZLEY: Make a name for themselves or engage in Jihad. It’s destabilised the area massively. The real fight against terror is here; it’s in South East Asia; it’s in Afghanistan. That is what we ought to be concentrating on – not Iraq.
CARLTON: All right. So, if you were Prime Minister you would be saying to George Bush, “Look I’m terribly sorry, we’re leaving Iraq. We’ll be there with you in Afghanistan but goodnight Iraq.”
BEAZLEY: Absolutely. I’d be saying to him this rotation we’ve got in, that’s it. When they come out, we’re out. In the meantime, let’s concentrate on struggling with terror where we ought to be doing it
And in breaking news this morning – also from the SMH:
Australia is to increase its troop numbers in Afghanistan to more than 500.
Defence Minister Robert Hill would detail the deployment of the 310 new troops for Afghanistan today, newspaper reports said today.
The new deployment would boost troops there to more than 500, 50 more than are serving in southern Iraq…