Should we pull out do you think?

This article has nothing at all to do with the ‘withdrawal’ method of contraception.

Dick Cheney, when asked whether Australia pulling its troops out of Iraq, as per Labor Party policy, would damage Australia’s relationship with America, replied ‘I don’t see any prospect of damage to the alliance‘. Did he mean that it’d be OK if we pulled our troops out, or that he doesn’t think we’d be so silly?

Regardless, and playing to the Teledemographic audience, Kevin Rudd is overjoyed. Meanwhile John Howard struggles to reinterpret it as a bit of diplomatic cuteness on Cheney’s behalf. The unspoken inference is that if he doesn’t follow his instructions to the letter, Dick will kick his arse, all our arses, to Kingdom Come. But how much truth is there in that?

Is America really such a bully that they would punish an ally, a mature democratic capitalist nation, for a policy difference on an issue which is already the site of much contention in US domestic politics?

I can’t pretend to know the answer to that, though I suspect the answer is yes, but how much damage could Bush and Cheney do to Australia’s economic or other interests in the next year or two? Has Howard not heard the news that the Bush Administration stinks so bad that the Republican Party may be out of office for decades?

Howard can not appear other than as an anachronism at this stage. His famous reluctance to ever admit a cock-up and contradictory ability to do a surprise double backflip with one and a half twists of inconsequential panderings to the latest poll buzz have typecast him as a two-bit, conservative populist left behind by the tides of history.

Howard ought to realise, as Tony Blair seems to have, that joining in the Fracas in Iraq was a great, a monumental blunder, and commence, politely but determinedly, withdrawing all our troops ASAP. This is not, for the umpteenth time, ‘cutting and running’. Australia can remain willing and able to provide all manner of services and aid to help the civilians of Iraq following our withdrawal.

What we must do is cease supporting America’s involvement in Iraq which has, by any reasonable measure, been responsible for more death and tragedy and misery and robbery than Saddam’s wildest fantasies. The AWB scandal, by the way, pales into obscurity when compared to the $billions of Iraqi reconstruction fund money that’s disappeared, the ‘Great Iraq and Roll Swindle’ of our times.

Howard can’t see it. Like he can’t see the earth warming 4-6 degrees as the civilisation-ending catastrophe that we must face… like… seriously.

Unless… Does Howard (methinks in a drunken and.. shall we say, discursive mood) have another plan besides withdrawal, something that’ll solve the problem in Iraq, some hitherto unknown method of… contraception? ‘Pull out Johnny’ I say, ‘before it’s too late. You’re not even sure which passage you’re infiltrating’.

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