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Well Guys We Are There
As of today's date 23 March 2003 Australian troops, airmen and navy personell are taking part in the war against Saddam.
So far there have been no Australian service casualties, and I hope that it remains so.
The Americans are heaping well deserved praise on the Australians, and support for the war back home is growing.
The main thing now is for the Australian people to show their strong support for out service people.
When they return home, go and meet the ships and planes that bring them back.
If there are any objectors there, well, what you do is up to you. I know what I'll be doing!
Good luck guys and girls, and may God go with you and protect you.

Joy Sweeps 'Liberated' Baghdad

Thursday April 10, 10:37 AM

Jubilant crowds swarmed in Baghdad's streets, dancing, cheering and looting as US commanders declared President Saddam Hussein's rule in the ancient capital was over. As Baghdadis toppled a massive Saddam statue with the help of an American tank, bystanders threw shoes and slippers at it - a gross insult in the Arab world. A crowd danced on the felled torso, tearing off the head and dragging it through the streets. "Saddam Hussein is now taking his rightful place alongside Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Ceausescu in the pantheon of failed brutal dictators and the Iraqi people are well on their way to freedom," US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in Washington.

At the United Nations, Iraq's ambassador, Mohammed Al-Douri, acknowledged the regime's demise. "My work now is peace," he said in New York, in the first Iraqi government admission of defeat after US tanks rolled into central Baghdad. "The game is over and I hope the peace will prevail. I hope the Iraqi people will have a happy life."

Australian Troops to Head Home



MORE than half of Australia's 2000 troops sent to the Iraqi war would be home by the end of June, the Federal Government said yesterday.

Among the first to leave the Middle East will be up to 250 SAS troops, the pilots and crew of the 14 F/A-18 Hornets and frigates HMAS Darwin and Anzac, with 600 personnel.
Announcing the withdrawal timetable, Defence Minister Robert Hill said much of the Australians' work was done -- but there was still a role in helping to bring stability and humanitarian aid to Iraq.

The first group to leave will do so in mid-May.
In June the transport ship HMAS Kanimbla, with about 350 soldiers and sailors aboard, will return. Detachments to remain include the frigate Sydney, with 160 on board, an army commando task group supported by helicopters, and specialist troops to deal with weapons of mass destruction, totalling around 250.

Senator Hill indicated the Government was likely to reject a coalition request to provide an army battalion for peacekeeping duties when he said: "We have already announced that we will not be providing a large peacekeeping force in Iraq."

Gulf Diggers to Walk Tall on Anzac Day

By Frank Walker
April 20 2003
The Sun-Herald

Defence Force chief General Peter Cosgrove expects to see Australia's veterans of the Iraq war standing tall with pride when he joins them on Anzac Day. General Cosgrove flies to the Persian Gulf with Defence Minister Robert Hill this week to congratulate our servicemen and women for their part in the successful mission to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Yesterday, in an exclusive interview with The Sun-Herald, General Cosgrove spoke emotionally about the enormous achievements of the 2000 sailors, soldiers and airmen over the past four weeks. "While they will be missing their family and loved ones, I know they will be standing three inches taller on Anzac Day," he said.

General Cosgrove said the spirit that was inside the young soldiers storming the beach at Gallipoli was the same spirit that saw our troops commit themselves so admirably in this conflict."The spirit our people displayed over there was timeless," he said. "The young men and women we have in uniform today operate computer terminals, weapons systems and space-age technology that would boggle the minds of the original Anzacs. "But once the ghosts of Anzac past start to talk to our people, they will find that under that high-tech veneer they are all exactly the same."

General Cosgrove will travel around the region visiting all the units that fought in the Iraq war: the SAS in the western deserts of Iraq, the RAAF's F/A-18 Hornet, Hercules and Orion crews, 4RAR Commandos, Navy mine clearance divers, the staff in Central Command and the crew of ships HMAS Kanimbla, Anzac and Darwin. "They will have something to tell their grandchildren - that they were there when Iraq was liberated and a threat of terrible weapons removed from the world."

General Cosgrove will be on board HMAS Kanimbla for the Anzac Day service on Friday. "It will have special meaning on board that ship as the original Kanimbla, an armed merchant cruiser, also served in the same waters in World War II. It was supporting the allied-backed government of Iraq against enemy forces in the region and secured a number of German merchant ships in the Gulf." He believes it will bring home that the legacy of the way our forefathers rose to meet the challenges of their times continues in our young servicemen and women today. He was "delighted" Prime Minister John Howard had suggested a welcome home parade for the troops when they return. "The best way for the public to show support for the men and women who did such a superb job is to get out and welcome them home," he said. The prospect of anti-war demonstrators marring the parade did not worry him, General Cosgrove said. "People have a right to protest, but the vast majority of Australians think the troops of the three services can be admired for what they have done. If people did protest they would be so in the minority they would not spoil such a public occasion."
General Cosgrove was "relieved and pleased" with the way things had gone. "Casualties have been kept to a minimum for the scale of the fighting that took place," he said. At no time did he think a crisis point had been hit in the campaign. While some expressed doubts about the long supply lines and the advance seeming to get bogged down in bad weather, he had intelligence that everything was proceeding according to plan. "But you never relax," he said. "I was constantly holding my breath about actions we were involved in."

General Cosgrove believes Australian forces could be in Iraq for more than 12 months, perhaps even a couple of years, as part of the rehabilitation of the country. "It was definitely all worth it. We went in there with the focus of ensuring weapons of mass destruction could not be harboured or used. We have accomplished that aim." Even though they had not been found yet, he said only a small number of the sites where they could be hidden had been searched. The unrest the country is going through at the moment was "like a pressure cooker being released", he said. "Of course there is volatility. We have to be very careful now and work very hard to start delivering those things the Iraqi people need such as water, power, health care and the reopening of schools."





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We all need a laugh to keep us sane! The war has given us this fellow. Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information (currently on administrative leave). He makes all the mis-information ever given out seem plausible.Even when the American's parked a tank outside of his office, he wouldn't admit that they were anywhere near Bagdad. Have a look and a laugh.

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