Five years after they were sent to Iraq to support the US imperialist invasion, Australian combat troops are being withdrawn.
This has been made possible by the widespread and continuing opposition to the Iraq invasion by the people of Australia. In the prelude to the illegal actions of the US imperialists and their Australian puppet, now former Prime Minister, John Howard the largest ever anti-war demonstrations took place, eclipsing even those of the Vietnam war period. However, Howard rode roughshod over the feelings of the Australian people in order to serve his imperialist masters.
Australia’s contribution to the Coalition of the Killing was never significant in numerical terms, amounting to around one per cent of all coalition troops. However, Howard’s commitment of Australian support for the aggressive Bush regime was politically significant.
The process of withdrawing the 550 Australian combat troops was marked with a ceremony in Camp Terendak in the southern Iraqi city of Talil, including the lowering of the Australian flag and a handover to the US military.
Whilst the withdrawal of the combat troops ends a shameful period in Australian foreign policy, the new Labor Government has decided that at least 300 Australian troops mostly doing logistical and air surveillance duties, will remain in Iraq.
These, together with combat troops currently serving to prop up the feudal warlord regime in Afghanistan, indicate that Labor is incapable of taking a decisive stand against imperialism and for a genuinely independent Australian voice in foreign policy.
To celebrate the withdrawal of Australian combat troops from Iraq, however, and to lament the fate of those US and other troops left to prop up the US occupation, here is British singer and guitarist Richard Thompson’s “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” video. (“Dad” is US army slang for Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. The lyrics can be found at http://www.richardthompson-music.com/song_o_matic.asp?id=596 )