Sunday :: Apr 18, 2004

Spain Withdraws From Coalition of the Willing

by Steve

After a weekend when at least ten more US troops were killed in Iraq, major highways into Baghdad were closed because of a lack of security, and the Administration admitted that they were reassessing their analyses of the situation in-country, Spain's new Prime Minister yanked all 1400 of his troops out of Iraq. And the best Condi could do was to say that they expect others may do the same.

Spain's withdrawal comes as Iraqi reconstruction efforts have ground to a halt as US commanders now admit that they may not be able to contain the security problems as they have thought.

U.S. officials said they are reconsidering initial assessments that the uprisings might be contained as essentially military confrontations in Fallujah, where Marines continue their siege of a chronically volatile city, and Najaf, where the militant Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has taken refuge in the shadow of a shrine.

"The Fallujah problem and the Sadr problem are having a wider impact than we expected," a senior U.S. official involved in Iraq policy said. In Baghdad and Washington, officials had initially concluded that addressing those problems would not engender much anger among ordinary Iraqis. "Sadr's people and the people of Fallujah were seen as isolated and lacking broad support among Iraqis," the official added.

Instead, the official said, "The effect has been profound."

The violence has brought the U.S.-funded reconstruction of Iraq to a near-halt, according to U.S. officials and private contractors.

We now find ourself fighting against insurgents nationwide, no longer simply in the country's hot spots, and our commanders now admit that the Iraqis will not be ready to handle security themselves, in a move designed to justify why we should stay after June 30 providing almost all of the country's security while our Coalition of the Running leaves the mess to us and Al Qaeda.

But at least Condi is certain about one thing: there are likely to be terrorist strikes here before the election, in an effort by Al Qaeda according to the Administration to swing the election. This is a pathetic attempt by the Bush Administration to plant the meme that a vote for Kerry is capitulation in the war on terror. If I were Kerry, I would start discrediting this tactic now by pointing out how desperate the Bushies are for even suggesting it. Call them on it, and point out that we wouldn't even have to be hearing this crap now from the Administration if they were truly winning the war on terror, instead of detouring illegally into a war we were told would strike a death blow to terror.

Steve :: 4:49 PM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!