Obama: "Aussies know how to fight and I like having them in a foxhole if we're in trouble."
Abbott: "We don't want to be in foxholes, full stop, but if we need to take shelter it's good to have Australians and Americans side by side." (Abbott, Obama unite to confront terror, David Crowe, The Australian, 14/6/14)
Tony Abbott, along with the rest of the Howard crew, put his hand up for attacking a country he probably couldn't have found on a map of the world.
When it became apparent that Pretext No.1 for this aggression - WMDs - was a lie, Abbott began mouthing a new set of talking points:
"By any standards, Saddam Hussein ran an evil regime. He had invaded his neighbours, used poison gas on his own people, funded terrorists and harboured Abu Nidal. As the secret burial grounds now reveal, he is the world's biggest mass murderer since Pol Pot (and who complained when the Vietnamese army removed him?). Weapons of mass destruction were never the only justification for Australia's participation in the Iraq war... and there's no reason to think that the Iraqi desert has yet yielded up all its secrets." (The Moral Case for the Howard Government, 23/6/04)
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths later, Iraq in ruins, and the genie of sectarianism stalking a land contaminated by depleted uranium and God knows what else, he spun this crime against humanity as if it were a gift from the West to the Iraqi people:
"Saddam was always a much bigger threat to his immediate neighbours than he ever was to America or any of its allies apart from Israel. It was to liberate other people, to advance everyone's interests and to uphold universal values that the 'coalition of the willing' went to war in Iraq. If it's possible to engage in an altruistic war, this was it." (Battlelines, 2009, p 158)
Now the country that he'd concluded (in 2009) was no threat to the world (in 2003) he's describing as... a threat to the world:
"Should the control of [ISIS] be consolidated, we are faced with a situation of a terrorist state... Not only is it a humanitarian disaster for the people of those sections of Iraq, it is a security disaster for the Middle East and for the wider world." (Australian PM warns of 'terrorist state' if Iraq extremists consolidate, Bridie Jabour, theguardian.com, 16/6/14)