It is no surprise that Australia's new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would kick off his round-the-world tour with a visit to the United States and announce that he would fulfill his election pledge to pull out 550 Australian troops from Iraq. He is proving he is different from his predecessor John Howard, who had gone whole hog in supporting U.S. President George W. Bush and his war in Iraq.
Rudd did commit to humanitarian aid and farming assistance in Iraq, but kept future possibilities of military involvement with U.S. troops there remote. In Afghanistan, however, Rudd said Australia is in for the long haul.
Australian public opinion, like that elsewhere in the world, supported a U.S. attack on Afghanistan after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 on the United States. But the senseless invasion of Iraq, coupled by the U.S. failure to restore order there, is the reason for a groundswell of anti-Americanism in Australia, as across the world.