A year, almost, in the thinking of Brendan Nelson.
July 2007 (as reported by the ABC):
Dr Nelson confirmed the Government viewed Australia’s involvement in Iraq as partially driven by the need to secure oil supplies … “The defence update we’re releasing today sets out many priorities for Australia’s defence and security — and resource security is one of them,” he said. “Obviously the Middle East itself, not only Iraq, but the entire region is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world.”
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June 2008 (yesterday in fact):
The heinous events of 11 September 2001 divided the lives of many Americans into two halves: that which had been lived prior to September 11 and everything that would come after. What then happened was that the United States realised that September 11 was the escalatory event of more than a decade of increasing terrorist attacks throughout the world principally but not only against America interests, from the attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 to the attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on the USS Cole, the Marriott Hotel bombing, the Russian parade ground bombing and many other incidents. By September 11, clearly that was enough.
The United States and its allies, then looking out throughout the world for where future terrorist attacks might subsequently come, looked no further than Iraq. The decision was made by the United States and the United Kingdom—both of which asked Australia to consider participation—to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
Oil had nothing to do with it. Oil which, of course, will always be cheaper under a coalition government. Oh and by the way it’s Tuesday night, which will explain the 500-metre queues of aging Commodores and Taragos by your friendly neighborhood servo. You’ve been warned. Ignore this advice if you live in Western Australia.