Australian troops must stay in Iraq to maintain the country's friendship with the United States, Prime Minister John Howard says.
Mr Howard said he accepted responsibility and stood by the decision to commit troops to Iraq.
Speaking about Australia's alliance with the US, he said friendships were most important and tested when they came under pressure.
"And the loyalty and friends is more deeply appreciated in times of challenge, in times of difficulty," he said.
A real friend trys to stop their friends from doing stupid things. A real friend doesn't feel their friendship would be challened by disagreement. Real friends argue and fight, and stay friends because they have common history, share fundamental ideals and are bonded by real love and affection.
There's are terms for the sort of friendship Howard is talking about; 'fairweather friend' at best, 'lackey' at worst. You don't send people to kill and die in the name of friendship. John Howard is a pathetic, spineless little man.