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Transcript of Prime Minister's weekly radio message: [Australian troops in Iraq]. \n



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PRIME MINISTER

***embargoed until 12.01am 2 October 2006***

2 October 2006

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP WEEKLY RADIO MESSAGE

Mr Beazley says that if he becomes Prime Minister he will pull all Australian forces out of Iraq leaving only a guard for our embassy. My reply to this statement by Mr Beazley is that if it is alright for Australia to do this, why isn’t it alright for America and Britain and others to do the same? And it is quite obvious that if everybody pulls out of Iraq, before Iraq is ready to defend itself then the terrorists win, and the worldwide Jihadist movement receives a massive boost.

There can be debate about the original decision to go into Iraq but commonsense tells us that we must finish the job, and to pull out before Iraq is ready to look after itself will simply hand a massive victory to the terrorists and to the worldwide terrorist cause.

What Mr Beazley argues, defies one of the findings of the very intelligence report in America on which he has based his latest call. The propaganda value alone of being seen to have driven allied forces out of Iraq would give the terrorists new energy and attract yet more fanatical Jihadists to the fight against our values and beliefs.

It is in Australia’s interests that the terrorists fail both in Iraq and in Afghanistan, that is the view that all commonsense Australians take.

[ends]