Friday, March 19, 2004

1300 Troops

One point that seems to have been overlooked in much of the discussion is the fact that if our bold adventure in Iraq is really on such shaky ground that the withdrawl of Spain's 1300 troops will make a substantial difference then we are truly screwed.

...look, even the "symbolic" importance just isn't really important. Once upon a time Aznar stood on the stage with Bush and Blair and that probably did grant the adventure a bit more legitimacy than it otherwise would have had, but at this point it's absolutely meaningless. It looks bad for the Bush administration, I suppose, but even then only in a kind of petty "nyah nyah" scoring points way, not so that it genuinely lessens Bush's stature in the international community. I mean, that's pretty much impossible to do at this point.

If you want to argue 1300 of them means 1300 less of us, well then that's a good thing if you value Spanish soldiers' lives less than the lives of US troops. You're free to do that, I suppose, but it isn't exactly an argument which is going to persuade the new Spanish PM.

The reality is that this was always a US endeavor with a bit of token support. Now there will likely be a tiny bit less token support. My point is that if the success or failure depends entirely on the tiny bit of token support we managed to obtain, then this just highlights what an utter diplomatic and subsequent military failure this is turning out to be.