Kevin Rudd replaced John Howard as Prime Minister of Australia and the move came in part due to Rudd and his party's opposition to the Iraq War and Rudd's promise that he would pull Australia troops out of Iraq. Rudd was kicked to the curb in about the same time it took for Gordon Brown to win and lose the post of prime minister in England.
For those who've forgotten, June 1, 2008 is the date when Australian forces 'departed' Iraq. In that kind-of-sort-of way.
Today Alison Middleton (Australia's ABC) reports on the return of Australian troops from Iraq -- as does Nadja Hainke (NT News). And Australia's Defence Dept issues the following statement:
Security Detachment Home from
Australian Defence Force (ADF) members of Security Detachment Seventeen, known as SECDET XVII, returned home to
The 33-member team was deployed as part of Operation KRUGER, the ADF’s contribution to the provision of security and support for the Australian Embassy and its staff in
A parade was held at the Australian Baghdad Embassy on 14 May 11 to transfer responsibility to the new rotation, SECDET Eighteen (XVIII), from the Brisbane-based 1st Military Police Battalion.
Commander of Australian Forces in the
“Although security in
“Your contribution in providing security has been invaluable to the successful Australian diplomatic mission in
The ADF has been providing security to the Australian Embassy in
During the deployment, SECDET XVII supported more than 1127 security activities for Embassy staff, averaging five separate tasks per day.
The detachment was raised by the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in
Officer Commanding SECDET XVII, Major Shaun Richards, said his unit had continued the achievements of previous deployments and built on Defence’s reputation for professional service in support of its Foreign Affairs partners.
“Our efforts in providing security to the Australian Embassy in a difficult environment have allowed the diplomatic effort to succeed in its mission to promote
SECDET XVII arrive home in
Imagery can be found at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003&search=20112727
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664
And on the subject of departing Iraq, Raber Y. Aziz (Zawya) reports:
The Swedish ambassador to Iraq denied claims of a behind-the-curtains deal between the two countries to deport Iraqis in return for loans being dropped.
Refugee groups have alleged that deals were signed between Iraq and certain EU countries by which Iraq would receive deported Iraqi refugees and in exchange, debts owed to these countries would be cancelled.
"What is circulated on the media about a deal... to deport Iraqis is not true," Ambassador Karl Magnus said, adding that, "we reject asylum only to Kurds because the Kurdistan Region is enjoying security and economic stability therefore Kurdish Iraqi citizens do not need asylum in our country."
Why would people think that? Forget that there actually is a signed agreement -- as has been well reported over the last months -- between Sweden and Iraq. It might have something to do with the continual deportation of Iraqis from Sweden. Back in June of last year, Sweden kicked 56 Iraqis out and did so with no regard to the warning from the United Nations that it was not safe for refugees to return. That was not the first time they'd forcibly deported Iraqis. Nor was it the last time. I believe the most recent was in January of this year (see this CNN report).
And on that note, let's note something else. If you're a blogger or a columnist in some small town weekly, you may have an excuse for writing your 'comical' pieces on the donkey from Iraq. If you're a serious news outlet -- hello, NPR and others -- you have no excuse.
The Iraq War created the largest refugee crisis in the MidEast. No one needs your attempts at 'cute' as you 'report' on an Iraqi donkey making it to the US. No one needs it. It's not funny and it only demonstrates how truly shallow and insensitive you are.
Serious news outlets should have ignored the story or used it to comment on the detestable US policies regarding Iraqi immigrants. Instead, they just knew they were Disney and had a Cool Running on their hands. What they actually had on their hands should have immediately been washed off and then they should have promised to keep their hands above their waists and out of their pants at all times when in public from now on.
The following community sites -- plus Babylon & Beyond, War News Radio and Antiwar.com -- updated last night and this morning:
raber y. aziz
the washington post
anns mega dub
like maria said paz
sex and politics and screeds and attitude
thomas friedman is a great man
the daily jot
cedrics big mix
mikey likes it
oh boy it never ends