October 19, 2006

Question Time, PM
Mr Prime Minister, you said repeatedly that you wouldn’t put a timetable on when our troops can leave and they will leave only when the job is done. Three years ago before the invasion when asked about how long the war will last you said a war timetable of several months “sounds stretched to me ”. In another interview three years ago you said “I’m saying to you that an ongoing peacekeeping role is not something that I would seek for a moment.I don’t see any peacekeeping. We have resisted blandishments to provide peacekeepers in Afghanistan. Given our commitment in East Timor, and the possibility that in our own region you may need people for other peacekeeping, it’s not an area of the world where peacekeepers are really for Australia.”

My question is, what do you characterize our current involvement in Iraq ? Is it still combat operation in the war? Or is it peacekeeping? If it is still war, it is three and a half years later, does this mean your prediction of “several months sounds stretched” and “a very short period of commitment” was terribly wrong? If it is peacekeeping, does this mean you have changed your mind on “it’s not an area of the world where peacekeepers are really for Australia”. Do you think you have terribly underestimated the magnitude of the decision of to go to war given you thought it would last only a short period of time, and if so, how can you ask the Australian public to trust you on national security issues when you showed such terribly wrong judgement on such an important issue of war?
From Ed in the comments at Surfdom.


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