Should there be all the ballyhoo over a shift in the Government’s line on Iraq? Probably not.
America and Britain are at war in Iraq. We’re not. We’re engaged in Iraq – engaged in very different tasks to frontline fighting.
Our troops – absolutely – are in a war zone. They face danger. We wish them well. But they’re not in active combat. They are a token deployment with other duties. They are there in an act of strategic me-tooism, in a geopolitical game of follow the leader.
Australia hasn’t had the same debate over Iraq as the United States – or Britain – because we haven’t had the casualties. We’ve only seen one death – Jake Kovco – from what appears to be bizarre misadventure. We haven’t had the casualties because of the size and the nature of the Australian deployment in Iraq.
We haven’t had the same debate. Instead, all we’ve had is heaps of hyperbole from politicians. And this week’s rhetoric in the Reps has been a particularly egregious example of all this.