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Australia's Alignment With the USA in the War Against Iraq

            Historically, Australia has had a long association (about 60 years) with the United States, in WW2, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The latter being the one that caused most dissention amongst the general public in both countries. The slogan "All the way with LBJ" (Lynden B Johnson) rang hollow with the Australian public because they felt they had no connection with the civil war raging in Vietnam and the fact that conscription was implemented only added fuel to the fire.
             However, for many World War 2 veterans the Battle of the Coral Sea stands out as a turning point in the Japanese invasion of Australia. It is from this connection that Australia offers her ports for American ships during the R & R (Rest and Recreation) and more recently sea swaps. There have been a number of protests in Fremantle about the perceived danger of making Fremantle a terrorist target with aircraft carriers and their support fleets anchored in Gage Roads.
             With reference to the impending war with Iraq opinion is divided as to whether Australia should become involved with the Americans and even if the Americans should be involved at all. The United Nations weapons inspector, Hans Blix, is charged with the task of documenting the disarmament of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Various time limits have been suspended to enable Saddaam Hussein to comply with this request but there is strong evidence to suggest that his government is not cooperating fully with the United Nations. The US has amassed a large number of troops in the Middle East and this pressure is felt by many as threatening and bullying. The issue that Iraq holds the highest percentage of oil production in the world clouds the issue of America's motives.
             The issue of democracy in Iraq is also one that the Americans wish to address. Their strongest ally at the moment is Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Britain and John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, has committed a small number of ships aircraft and troops to the gulf region.

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