"There is a tacit understanding at high political levels in Australia and the US that Australia will make a new commitment to Iraq when its mission supporting Japanese engineers in Al Muthanna province expires in mid-2006. This reveals one of the unspoken political sensitivities of the US force drawdown from Iraq starting in early next year: that the Bush administration wants to prevent any mass exodus of its coalition partners from Iraq contingent on the American reductions."
This arrangement "reflects the political trust between John Howard and George W. Bush", according to Kelly.
As the Iraq war becomes political poison in the US, it is barely discussed in Australia. There is great unease with our involvement, but little political risk for Howard. This may change in time, it may not.
History, however, has already judged Howard, Blair and Bush harshly. This "liberation" has given the Iraqi people US-backed death squads, oil controlled by Western multinationals and a host of other obscenities. But it's better than Saddam, we're told.
Our moral legitimacy died years ago.