politics, history and the war on terror
Sunday, April 18, 2004
The Ever Reliable International Community 

In the spirit of internationalism, Spain is withdrawing its troops prior to the June 30th date of the Iraqi transfer of power.

In an announcement from the Moncloa Palace, [Spanish Prime Minister] Zapatero said he had ordered the defense minister to "do what is necessary for the Spanish troops stationed in Iraq return home in the shortest time possible." Zapatero spoke just hours after the new Socialist government was sworn in.

After an unprecedented amount of time spent deliberating over the implications of sticking a knife in the back of its former American ally and the Iraqi people, Prime Minister Zapatero decided there is no time like the present to act .

"With the information we have, and which we have gathered over the past few weeks, it is not foreseeable that the United Nations will adopt a resolution" that satisfies Spain's terms, Zapatero said.

This disgusting act of cowardice and lack of commitment should be remembered when Spain suffers further terrorist attacks on its soil. How this immediate withdraw will promote stability in Iraq is still not clear. The current government of Spain is unhappy that the United Nations is not in command of the peacekeeping and transition efforts in Iraq. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice correctly sums up the impact of the U.N. controlling operations in Iraq:

"The idea that somehow if there were a U.N. flag instead of a coalition flag, that these thugs would not be attacking, is, frankly, I think, just a little bit naive."

Former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar neatly describes the consequences of the immediate retreat:

"That will not be good for Spain, not a good day for the coalition, and a very good day for those who don't want stability and democracy in Iraq."

The good news is this is a victory for the international community.

Updates:

Portugal may withdraw its 128 peacekeeping police officers from Iraq if the violence increases. The Philippines considered withdrawing its peacekeeping troops from Iraq, but changed its mind:

About 50 troops in central Iraq were operating in a safe area, but as a precaution, they were being restricted to their camps.

Isn't the purpose of peacekeeping to keep the peace? How can this be done when the soldiers cannot even leave their base camps, or when nations can break their commitments so casually? This is how the international community operates in dangerous conflicts; Rwanda is the perfect example of how the peace is kept by the U.N.

Posted by bill roggio @ 12:44 PM

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