Monday, October 04, 2004

Forget Poland

Poland, unlike the United States, apparently has an exit strategy for Iraq. The Bush administration is downplaying Poland's planned withdrawal next year. Personally, I blame John Kerry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poland is leaving because the nation doesn't have a large enough military structure to support an entire division in the field thousands of miles away, even if the U.S. is footing the bill.

They don't have the troop strength to rotate men in and out of the country. The problem is that only two western nations really can do this -- the U.S. and U.K. -- and they're already committed.

7:30 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

That's fine. But Bush should be acting as though their contribution is substantial. It's not the passion of our allies' committment that we should question. It's their effectiveness.

7:38 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I meant to say "Bush shouldn't be acting like their contribution is substantial."

8:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush's point isn't about numbers (although 4,000 men under arms isn't insignificant). He's making a point about the moral nature of Poland's committment. This is a nation that suffered terribly in the 20th century, first under the Tsar, then Hitler, then Stalin, then all the rest of the Soviet flunkies.

When Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic pledge to help Iraqis win their freedom from totalitarianism, it means something to America, to George W. Bush, and, quite frankly, to me.

If it means nothing to John Kerry, then maybe he's not the patriot he claims to be.

10:09 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I agree that their commitment to spreading freedom and democracy is admirable and genuine. But since I don't believe this was a war worth fighting, I don't believe their decision to take part in it was any wiser than ours. In any case, that's not the issue, and if the president doesn't understand that--I suspect he does--the he's as dumb as his meanest critics suggest. The issue is whether the occupation would be easier if we had more support. George Bush is free to argue, as you have, that nations like France and Germany wouldn't bring much to the table even if they were on board. But that it isn't what he says.

I don't know what's in John Kerry's heart, nor much of what's in his head either. All I know is that my opinion is that if we are going to fight a war that costs us much of our standing in the international community, and a war that we will have to fight without significant military or financial support, it better damn well be worth it. I'm not saying we should never wage war alone, nor that we should never wage pre-emptive war. I just don't think this was the time and place to do it.

12:12 PM


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