Thursday, February 24, 2005

What will be said of this dissenting voice? Dementia? PTSD? No recent battle experience?

HoWARd would do well to heed and consider the voice of a former soldier who is drawing a comparison between Iraq and Vietnam.
Talking to commercial radio Major General Stretton said,
"Australia should not have been involved in Iraq in the first place as there were no weapons of mass destruction and no links with al-Qaeda. The whole lot of it has turned into a bloody civil war. All we are doing is reinforcing disaster. I just cannot understand it."
"You would have noticed the prime minister use a new word ... tilting. That is the same as the graduated response in Vietnam. In other words you just put a bit more in to stop it tilting the wrong way. It will end up exactly the same way. The whole thing is flawed strategy."
"This talk about fighting for democracy, that is absolute, to use a phrase, bullshit."
HoWARd had this to say in response to the Major General's comments,
"I don't think it is at all likely that we will send any more people but I am not going to get into this business of giving absolute guarantees and having everything I say on that analysed in the future."
Too late Johnny, we're onto you and we're counting your lies.

7 Comments:

Blogger Kartar said...

I think there are a lot of Vietnam veterans who watch the news from Iraq every night and for whom it has awoken bad memories. It has for my father.

9:41 pm  
Blogger Gerry said...

I'm a Vietnam Veteran. I'm against the war. I handed my medals back in protest at a peace rally in the Domain in Sydney in March 2003. I have not changed my position one iota.

But I'm getting heartily sick of the cheap shots Howard critics are stooping to.

I don't know what's gotten into Stretton. It's way too early to draw Vietnam comparisons from this troop deployment. It's pure speculation. Rather than bore/irritate you or your readers with a lengthy explanation of my postion, Suki, I'll merely direct them to go the psts and comments thereto here, here, and here

9:59 pm  
Blogger suki said...

Gerry,
I read your piece. I respect your position. However, this invasion of Iraq is as wrong today as it was in March 2003.
I want HoWARd to offer our military to a UN force, not a Coalition of the Willing.
I am very concerned that HoWARd is grooming us for Iran.
Get used to the pronunciation and threat of new-cue-lar.

10:18 pm  
Blogger Gerry said...

Suki, yo dude! :-) Respect! No trouble with the spelling of HoWARd.

As to Bush's pronunciation of nuclear, I believe, it's best phonetisised as "new killer" (as in "new killer weapons") The man's a lunatic. A dangerous lunatic. I think we agree there, Suki.

I think people don't give HoWARd enough credit for being a shrewd manipulator. I think he's the ultimate pragmatist. Being faced with absolute coercion from the US to contribute a token force (and that's all we've done), he has engineered a role for us which has somehow kept us out of any real combat(aggression).

I think you're not factoring in that the nature of the occupation has changed as a result of the elections. Once elctions were held, the whole dynamic shifted. And this is where HoWARd has again, IMHO, displayed great rat cunning.

Being asked (pressured) to provide an increased commitment to replace the Dutch withdrawal, he, I believe is re-engineering our role in Iraq to be more along the lines of a peacekeeping one.

Now, if you scroll through the comments on the second link I provided in my previous comment, you will see that I said: "Just pulling out? I think the Yanks should pull out and an international UN presence to provide interim security is ok and we could play a part in that."

You might like to visit the third link as well.

I'm well aware that if I'm getting this wrong I'll subsequently look pretty stupid, but for now, I will go with the line that HoWARD has seen the error of being seen to be too close to the Bushnut, and he's trying to recapture some of the honour we have lost by shifting our role to a peacekeeping one.

If that bastard lets me down on this one, I'll be even harder on him than you are, but for now, I've got to go with my gut feeling.

11:04 pm  
Blogger Susoz said...

Gerry, yes of course Howard is a shrewd manipulator. He has gone for a situation whereby he appeases the British and Americans by increasing troop numbers but tries to appease the Australian public with talk of strengthening our ties with Japan and placing troops in a 'peaceful' area. The big picture remains the same - we are in this on US coat-tails, Iraq is a chaotic mess with an increasingly successful insurgency and a civil war is not far off.

12:30 pm  
Anonymous tony said...

I'm glad you're counting the lies Suki. I was, but lost count in around 2001...

5:22 pm  
Blogger Nu-Ju said...

I also disagree with the Vietnam analogy. Vietnam was by some measure an imperial success for the US. Whereas now I don't think the US even has a plan for withdrawal, they might have tried to start a cicil war but the Iraqis I don't believe will let them. I think if the shiites don't get what they want we may see an increase in violence and maybe the shhites joining the resistance the other more probable thing that will happen is the continuation of an unstable state with the US forcing the shiites to use them to fight the Sunnis.

6:23 pm  

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