Aussie FM: U.S. Winning War, Pullout Now Would Be Madness

November 21st, 2007 Posted By Pat Dollard.

The Age:

November 21, 2007 - 4:49PM

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has again taken aim at Labor’s pledge to pull combat troops out of Iraq, saying it would be “political stupidity” to do it anytime soon.

Downer said the US-led coalition was finally “winning” the war in Iraq. To withdraw troops when progress was now being made would be madness, he said.

“I feel that we are at long last, making real progress in Iraq,” Downer told reporters in Singapore, where he is attending the East Asia Summit.

“There is a very substantial decline in the level of violence in Iraq.

“The last thing we want to do - just at the point of making real progress - … is a sudden change, a 180 degree change of policy on Iraq, which would only lead to a regression back to the violence we had before.

“It would be madness. Let us make sure that now we are winning in Iraq, we do win (and) we don’t snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory by political stupidity.”

Labor plans to withdraw the 500 combat troops Australia has in southern Iraq if it wins government, leaving around 1,000 still in Iraq and the Middle East.

It says the withdrawal would come after consultations with allies scheduled to take place around the middle of next year.

4 Responses

  1. Kurt(the infidel)

    Thank you to a good friend (Australia). I hope they keep their forces there with us. We are winning and anyone who pulls out now will lose out on a big victory. History will never forget this moment and all positions will be clearly written, pick the right side before its too late

  2. Zachary

    As far I understand the stance of Rudd, the Labor Party leader, he wants to withdraw troops that aren’t actively engaged in combat and redeploy them to Afghanistan.

    But frankly, Rudd’s stance always seems to change depending who his audience is. I don’t overly trust the man.

  3. Future0311 (the infidel)

    At least they still have sense…

  4. a Golden BB

    What is the only country to have fought at the side of the US in every major conflict since WWI?
    Not the Brits or Canadians, but the Aussies, yep, the “Diggers” from down under.
    I can’t agree more with Mr Downer, but their internal politics is their business, not mine.
    Regardless, I’ve a soft spot for the Aussies.

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