Former prime minister John Howard (suddenly a member of the confused elderly?) says he is “baffled” by the Rudd government’s decision to pull our troops out of Iraq. Portions of the US commentariat are seeing another signal that the Bush administration’s “Coalition of the Willing” is becoming an increasingly bi-polar aggregation, one that is marking time before its ultimate unravelling at the hands of an incoming Democrat president.
And what should the rest of us make of it? Fans of the Iraq engagement can be satisfied that we have reached “mission accomplished” in southern Iraq.
Those revolted by our participation will salute a significant policy turning. Others may see it as welcome evidence, after the vapidly trivial pursuits of the past week, that the Rudd Government is in fact capable of keeping at least one eye on the big picture.