An Australia Army Security Soldier
carries ice at the base in Talil, Iraq (AP).

Australian PM Says Iraq Invasion a Mistake, Brings Troops Home

June 03, 2008 12:42 PM
by Cara McDonough
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is keeping his campaign promise, bringing Australia’s 2,000 troops home from Iraq while the White House defends the war.

30-Second Summary

Rudd strongly criticized his predecessor’s decision to send troops to Iraq in 2003 to support the American and British military presence there.

“Of most concern to this government was the manner in which the decision to go to war was made: the abuse of intelligence information, a failure to disclose to the Australian people the qualified nature of that intelligence,” Rudd said this week of former Prime Minister John Howard’s decision.

Australian troops on Sunday lowered a flag that had flown in the southern Iraqi city of Talil, marking an end to their service there. They will be welcomed home June 28 at a parade Brisbane.

Rudd’s comments have sparked a reaction in the United States, where many have already questioned the Bush administration’s decision to go to war.

White House spokesperson Dana Perino said, in reaction to Rudd’s words, that the United States had acted on intelligence that the entire world had: “We acted based on a threat that was presented to us.”

Headline Links: ‘Australia Begins To Pull Troops Out of Iraq’

Background: Australia’s Iraq presence, Bush’s unpopular war

Key Player: Kevin Rudd

Related Topics: Bush’s latest critic and America’s plans for withdrawal

No Definite Withdrawal Timetable for American Troops

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