Farewell to Arms

As Australian forces ended their mission in southern Iraq this week and began heading home, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd praised the troops but said the decision to send them had been a mistake. The government of his predecessor, John Howard, had joined the war against Saddam Hussein's regime "without a full and proper assessment ... of its consequences." At Tallil air base, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Websdane's praise for his soldiers was unqualified: "You should be proud of your achievements. I am."

Australians have not been engaged in fighting in Iraq since Saddam's armies...

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