Created: Thursday, 03 March 2005 Written by ziggyThe Oz PM’s recent decision to hastily deploy a colossal taskforce of 450 mint Aussie troops to southern Iraq came as a big surprise to everyone, including the Army and the PM himself, who apparently received the revelation during an epileptic fit after realizing other COW (Coalition of the Willing) members looked bigger in the bathroom mirror.
The deployment’s location was more predictable: the soothing South. Ah, the Rodent at work. His weasel words, his shifty eyes, his gormless grin, and his amoral slip-sliding must be such an inspiration to a nation of spineless, lickspittle bootlicks like the great unwashed Oz electorate. Australia, may your interest rates skyrocket in just proportion to your timidity, avarice and moral decay. And with the current account deficit swelling like a pus-filled abcess to more than 7 per cent of GDP, you can bank on that! After all, you voted for it!
The tilting point! Never one to get his own claws dirty (especially if he can blame others) PM Rodent is sending more of our boys and girls in khaki to the happy-go-lucky southern Iraqi province of al-Muthanna.
To put it into perspective: in the past two years Baghdad has copped some 7,300 serious attacks – mortars, rockets, bombs, car bombs etc. In the same period, al-Muthanna copped about 40.
Can’t have our lads and lassies doing too much of that “heavy lifting” we keep hearing about, like guarding abandoned embassy buildings (More on that in a sec). And to make doppel sure our troops aren’t put in harm’s way, they’ll have armoured vehicles with the latest modifications… Well, some of them, anyway.
Our DefMin Senator Robert Pill has admitted that not all Australian light armoured vehicles (ASLAVs) accompanying the new Iraq taskforce will be fitted with the nifty Kongsberg remote weapons station. This little beauty would allow the vehicle commander to fire a machine gun from within the ASLAV, but I guess s/he’ll just have to duck and cover instead. Not to worry, mate: all ASLAVs do get the kevlar liners or spall curtains (curtains???) to “protect personnel against fragments which might penetrate the armour plating”.
One more slight qualification from the slippery minister Pill, though: the lining has yet to be tested in combat. Good luck, boys! (You really must watch out for those tilting points!)
Meanwhile, Aussie troops guarding Australia’s empty embassy will be relieved to hear staff have now been moved from the U.S. Camp Victory (where they’ve been hiding since spooked by a car bomb near the Australian embassy in January) into the U.S. fortified Green Zone. Looks like they’ll be bunking in the British embassy until they can find a new home.
Hmm, and why are we there again? Let’s hear the impeccable logic of our Foreign Mincer Mrs Alexandra Downer: "Our judgement is that we need some diplomats on the ground, particularly now we have extra troops going into Iraq, we need those links with the Iraqi Government."
On previous occasions Mrs Downer stressed the need for an Aussie troop presence to protect our diplomats. Now he’s saying we need diplomats because of our troop presence?
Well, that makes no sense at all! Perhaps, someone in the Rodent's menagerie can instead explain how the Howard government - those masterful economic idealogues - have managed to plunge Australia into the worst foreign debt sinkhole in 50 years!