Back in 2003, we knew - we, the people of Australia. We knew that the US invasion of Iraq was a giant sized mistake. We knew we did not want Australian troops there on an American joy-ride. Well, a joy-ride for the Bushies - not for the families of the American war dead with whom we mourn. And we marched and we marched and we marched to tell Howard and his henchman. But to no avail.
To-day Prime Minister Rudd announced the Australian troop withdrawal. Well, most of the troops will be withdrawn. Troops to guard the embassy will remain along with a further 800 Australian troops supporting troops in Afghanistan and providing diplomatic security.
Australians will not be satisfied until all troops are out of Iraq. But this begs the question of when the USA - which has put more emphasis on poor military decisions and strategies than constructive nation building - of when the USA will go home. After all, it seldom leaves a nation once it has arrived.
When you can do nothing else: bear witness.