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June 21, 2005

Europe Needs To Follow Through

Will someone buy this man a drink?

When world leaders last gathered, in Madrid 20 months ago, to demonstrate their commitment to the reconstruction of Iraq, the country’s Prime Minister at the time vowed that their success would be “a success for humanity” which would further the cause of “peace and security in the world”. State loans and grants worth £7 billion were pledged over the next few days, in addition to £13 billion already promised by the US. Since then less than a third of that money has been spent and much of the European funding has not even been delivered to holding accounts set up by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The decisions by France, Germany and Russia to ignore Iraq’s pleas out of political pique were indefensible in Madrid and would be unforgivable if repeated in Brussels. Those decisions will undoubtedly have emboldened the terrorists who have since delayed urgently needed reconstruction across much of Iraq. By the same token, robust, unanimous agreement on Europe’s need to back Baghdad’s interim Government in every way possible will go some way to re-assuring those in the front line of Iraq’s struggle that they are not alone.

The risks that the wider world is being asked to take on Iraq’s behalf pale beside those already being taken daily by Iraqis themselves — and in particular by those queueing up to train and work in the country’s new police force. Twenty traffic policemen were killed and more than 100 wounded yesterday by a suicide bomber in Arbil. The victims knew that the simple act of signing up was tantamount to inviting tragedy into their homes. Their heroism is an even more potent sign of the new Iraq’s determination to survive than was the turnout in January’s election.

"No responsible nation can ignore Baghdad’s latest appeal..." Heh.

Posted by Cassandra at June 21, 2005 08:41 AM

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Well they shouldn't ignore Iraq's appeal.

Here's the REAL LIBERAL point of view:

If we're gonna kick Saddam's butt, (although on Constitutional and international law grounds we're on thin ice), OK, let's do the job right.

I had (somewhat) higher hopes for the invasion, recognizing that (1) Saddam is a bad guy, and (2) Bush is going to do it whatever I think. Ok, let's give them the old American know-how. WRONG. Man, did they screw the pooch on this one. I was eagerly believing every Fux News discovery of 100-acre WMD factories. I SO wanted this not to be in vain.

I still hope every week that the insurgents will just give up and say, OK, let's try it your way. But they don't think the way we do. They don't think rationally. Or at least they don't think Western.

Read T.E. Lawrence for a pretty good discussion of the difference between the Arab and the British mind. We're the British. I'm not sure much has changed.

Posted by: Old Testament Liberal at June 23, 2005 02:21 AM

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