Loose Cannons

Issue 

No full-medal jacket

"As the American-led Coalition of the Willing prepared to storm Baghdad 3½ years ago, some of our Army's top brass were privately condemning Australia's involvement as a contemptible waste of money and effort. Not because some were quietly warning, presciently as it transpired, that Australia would be committing to a war without apparent end... No. They were angry that Canberra was willing to commit so much military capital (more than $1.6bn so far) to a war for which the Australian Army would receive precious little recognition." — September 27 Bulletin magazine.

No full-medal jacket

"As the American-led Coalition of the Willing prepared to storm Baghdad 3½ years ago, some of our Army's top brass were privately condemning Australia's involvement as a contemptible waste of money and effort. Not because some were quietly warning, presciently as it transpired, that Australia would be committing to a war without apparent end... No. They were angry that Canberra was willing to commit so much military capital (more than $1.6bn so far) to a war for which the Australian Army would receive precious little recognition." — September 27 Bulletin magazine.

By George, I think he's got it!

"George, my gut tells me that they have all along been trying to inflict enough damage that we'd leave." — Emperor George Bush II, commenting on October 18 to US ABC TV interviewer George Stephanopoulos about attacks on US occupation troops by Iraqi resistance fighters.

Imperial neighbourliness

"In 2003, John Howard ...committed Australia to become much more active and engaged in helping our Pacific island neighbours overcome the problems that threaten their viability... [But the Australian] Government has reverted to type... It is not so much that we have seemed petty, bullying and vindictive, though we have; it is that we have been ineffectual." — Hugh White, ANU professor of strategic studies and former director of the government-funded Australian Strategic Policy Institute, writing in the October 19 Sydney Morning Herald on Canberra's unsuccessful attempts to extradite Solomon Islands attorney-general Julian Moti.