Friday, July 09, 2004

Terrorists to Influence Elections 

Former Australia PMs Tell U.S. to 'Butt Out'

Top U.S. officials, including President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell, have been pressuring Australia's opposition Labor party to drop a promise to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq if it won polls tipped for October.
"The intervention, not only of Richard Armitage but his bosses, in our political scene, I think, are quite unforgivable," Fraser, who was prime minister between 1975 and 1983, told Australian television late on Thursday.

"He's (Armitage) doing it for a very specific purpose -- to try and achieve a specific outcome that the United States wants. If it had been in older times, American officials would have been told to butt out."

Despite the U.S. pressure and a warning by Bush that pulling troops out of Iraq early could damage bilateral ties, Labor leader Mark Latham has refused to back down.

Latham, who once called Bush "dangerous and incompetent" over his decision to go to war in Iraq, said Australian voters would have their say on the matter at the election.


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