I chose the political storm which has erupted after Mark Latham announced "Australian troops would be pulled out of Iraq by Christmas". The Government, and John Howard in particular, are using this announcement by Latham to demonstrate that he does not have a grasp of the situation in Iraq, is weak in foreign policy and therefore not a suitable candidate for prime minister.
Mark Latham was recently chosen as the leader of the federal Australian Labour Party. He has enjoyed the good prays of the press for period and received widespread support from the electorate. He is trying to establish his credentials as an alternate prime minister and has forced the government to follow on a number of occasions. The best example being his announcement to reduce the benefits of the very generous superannuation scheme for politicians.
When Mark Latham put forward the policy of bringing troops back from Iraq by Christmas, John Howard was quick to say that he had made the decision quickly, hadn't been properly informed by the agencies, and he had made a mistake and could not be trusted to make foreign policy.
There are many people supporting Latham because they believe it wasn't our war and our troops should not be there and the troops should be brought back straight away. Latham made the statement because he though the war was unpopular and he would get votes in the upcoming federal election. Howard has been pushing the point that the troops must stay as long as it takes to finish the job.
Another argument Howard has been using is the damage to our relations with the United States. A letter to the editor shows the American ambassador is not very happy with talk of withdrawing Australian troops.
At the moment the argument seems to...