There is a reason why Ned Lamont is not a US Senator but Joe Lieberman is. Despite losing the Democrat nomination, Lieberman won the Conneticut Senate race on a platform broadly against withdrawl of troops in Iraq, along with his track record of serving his people.
Three Months later and on the other side of the Pacific, the Australian Prime Minister said of troops in Iraq:
You either go or you stay, you either rat on the ally or stay with the ally, it's as simple as that. And, if it's alright for us to go, it's alright for the Americans and the British to go, and if everybody goes Iraq will descend into total civil chaos ...
When asked about Illinois Senator Barack Obama's timetable for withdrawl currently being promoted in an attempt to launch himself into the White House he said:
I think that would just encourage those who wanted completely to destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for Obama victory.
But not just that, he had good reasons as Prime Minister of Australia to express his concerns.
Well I tell you what would be even worse news for the fight against terrorism, if America is defeated in Iraq. I mean, we have to understand what we are dealing with. We're dealing here with a situation where if America pulls out of Iraq in March 2008. It can only be in circumstances of defeat. There's no way by March 2008, which is a little over a year from now, everything will have been stabilised so that America can get out in March 2008. And, if America is defeated in Iraq, the hope of ever getting a Palestinian settlement will be gone. There'll be enormous conflict between the Shi'a and the Sunnis throughout the whole of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Jordan will both be (destabilised), Al-Qaeda will trumpet it as the greatest victory they've ever had and that will have implications in our region because of the link, the ideological link at the very least, between the Al-Qaeda and JI.
Fancy that, an Australian Prime Minister defending Australia's national interest, and seriously concerned about the risks of terrorism being inflamed in South East Asia, and the world, from an Iraq failure.
But that isn't alright for some. Obama flexed his muscle and bravely suggested Australia should have more troops in Iraq (as if real and significant contributions in East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and the South Pacific is not a significant commitment from its small armed forces).
The real impact was in Australia though. Kevin Rudd, leader of the Australian Labor Party (and the Opposition), repeatedly asked questions that gave John Howard an opportunity to present himself as the bold defender of Australian national security, not as some may feel a panderer to the great United States. The questions gave an opportunity to highlight his role as leader of Australia's government to point out policies not in Australia's interest.
Unfortunately for Rudd, his diplomatic training may have pushed him the wrong way on this one, just like Latham's troops-out-by-Christmas, and given the government plenty of ammunition for the year ahead. Howard looks in fine form.