Brothers in Arms

Seven months ago, opposition leader Mark Latham announced on a radio talk show that if his Labor Party won the upcoming election it would pull Australian troops out of Iraq "by Christmas." Two weeks earlier, a terrorist bombing in Madrid had helped elect a socialist government pledged to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq. For voters, Latham's vow is not the main issue in the Oct. 9 election, but for observers around the world it's practically the only one.

"There is no point, in a situation like this, being an 80% ally," Prime Minister John Howard said after...

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