Spanish leader pulls troops from Iraq

Spanish Spain PM orders Iraq troops home

What does this mean for the coalition and the US? What will be Bush’s next move? And also, how will this effect Iraqis?

Absolutely nothing else that Europe (or indeed, any other nation) has done so far has managed to significantly alter his strategy, I can’t see that this will be any different. Blindsiding Spanish contracters, a few words about those who gave up “the fight against terrorism” is the most I can see happening.

He said he was going to do this right after the election; no news. Little if any effect.

Isn’t it interesting that the pullout of one important member of the “coalition” will have “no effect.” Leaving by a member that has been pointed to with pride as an example to those craven turncoats in other European countries has “no effect.”

But, alas, I think it’s true. Even the pull-out of all of the members would have “no effect.” Out Flight Suit In Chief is immune to “effects.”

Is there a point in there somewhere? Have I offended you or something?

Well, I just thought it interesting that the pullout of an important “coalition” member will have “little or no effect.” Have I offended you, or are you sensitive?

If I offended I’m sorry. But I won’t promise not to comment in the future on things I find odd.

Um, it isn’t odd. This move was telegraphed since Spain decided to dedicate troops. Everyone knew it was going to happen. It has nothing to do with terrorism (except in the minds of rabid neocons), and if it is a surprise to the Bush admin, they are stupider than it is possibly imaginable.

It’s unfortunate, but mostly of political significance since all non US troops, except the British, have little direct military value. The Socialists already had proclaimed their intention to withdraw, what difference does a few month sooner or later make, except perhaps to make evident how Spain now apparently also intent to break its latest promise to stay until June 30? On the other hand, whether these latest intentions are in any way related to the latest terrorist threats to withdraw within four weeks is debatable, but it is highly unlikely that the terrorists will not see this as yet another victory (undoubtedly to be followed up by still more demands re. Afghanistan). And thus it is a political blunder of emmm… Bush’ist, proportions. Politically speaking it comes at a bad time, when we, Europe and the US, were just staring to make up and work together; essential I believe, especially regarding a solution to Iraq and the continued fight against terror. This will only help to widen the divide and isolate America from Europe, when we’ll only get to a workable solution when we reach something to agree on. Perhaps it’ll have consequence for Spain, should she another time be pressed to seek America’s assistance, for instance in solving a Moroccan invasion of Spanish Mediterranean islands (Perejil) or African enclaves (Ceuta, Mellila).

Oh Furt I’m sure it’s not personal. Some times one or another liberal lose it. You can always spot them by post of little actual content beyond such things as “Out Flight Suit In Chief” and cheap swings at “GeeDubya”. Sailor will be here shortly to say something about the evil occupation and mindless slaughter of a free nation.

Zapatero said that Spain was pulling out of Iraq if the UN didn´t take charge since before OBL (or whoever wrote it) spoke about a truce for the European countries that would pull of Iraq. Al Qaeda can rejoice as much as it wants with that victory, just as much as I´d be so proud of my powers by claiming that tomorrow the Sun will rise, and lo and behold, it rose the next morning! :rolleyes:

To me the oddity isn’t that Spain pulled out. It is that the pullout of an important member of a carefully orchestrated “coalition” will make little or no difference. If it isn’t odd to you that’s OK. I guess that’s why ice cream comes in all those flavors.

I plead guilty. In thinking about GW I have the impulse to laugh but the gag reflex gets in the way. And there’s nothing cheap about my swings. I mean every one of them.

I find your rationalizing that “all non US troops, except the British, have little direct military value” in view of all the careful attention that Rummie et al give to the phrase “coalition forces” when speaking of operations in Iraq. Are you saying that is just a bill of goods?

The presence of troops from smaller countries does not have much military significance. It is more about giving the occupiers more credibility as an international force. It also gives small countries the chance to curry favour and notch up brownie points with Washington. Several Central American and Caribbean nations have sent small numbers of troops and are under the command of the Spanish contingent. What I am unclear about is whether Spain’s decision will result in their withdrawal as well.

Agreed, no news here; Zapatero got elected on this basis and he’s following through. Spain is once again part of “Old Europe”, with Britain yet to go.

One effect will be that it is no longer possible, if it was before, for Bush to get any more troops from anywhere else as long as he insists on maintaining US control. Longer term, it makes a turnover to the UN, by the next administration if not this, closer to inevitable, unless we have a full withdrawal first (what would be this war’s version of the photo of the helicopter on the roof, I wonder?)

Another effect will be that we won’t see any more lists posted here by the Usual Suspects of the long list of the Coalition of the Drilling as evidence of the massive international crusade that Bush has assembled with his great leadership. At least I think that will be an effect.

Not if I do it first! He hates being second.

But the wording is a bit problematical, not quite sure if “stupid” is the same thing as “evil”. Matter of confusing intent with result, you see. “Mindless slaughter” is as good a definition of war as I’ve heard, but its not so much of a free nation as by one. Still, pretty weak.

No, actually, I don’t think ol’ Sailor is likely to say anything so clumsy and ineloquent.

Well, there’s still Eritrea.

I suspect what this means is that the coalition will have one less member, and Bush will go ahead as planned. We’ll see if there is a trickle down effect of other heads of state being less willing to go against the will of the voters on this one.

Military implications ? Almost none.

Political ? Many

Now that Spain set the example… other countries with troops in Iraq might feel emboldened to take 'em out… and other countries that have promised troops can more safely cancel their commitments. I’ve heard the USA is putting a lot of diplomatic pressure on member of the “Coalition of the Willing”.

So the Spanish withdrawl is significant… it might start a wave of defections. It paints Bush war on Iraq as becoming a diplomatic failure. Eventually if many small countries do get out of Iraq then it might become politically costly for Bush. Especially since the US army is stretched thin… and even more troops will have to stay in Iraq instead of going home.

I congratulate Zapatero for following the will of his people and not selling out.

DS: I find your rationalizing that “all non US troops, except the British, have little direct military value” in view of all the careful attention that Rummie et al give to the phrase “coalition forces” when speaking of operations in Iraq. Are you saying that is just a bill of goods?

Not only that, but it’s a standard bill of goods. It is a universal maxim in politics that your allies are very important when they’re doing what you want but insignificant and irrelevant when they’re doing what you don’t want.

If there is any country which has broken promises and treaties it is the USA, not Spain, and, in this case you are wrong, once again.

After his victory at the polls, the first cabinet member Zapatero designated was his defense minister, José Bono and, Bono immediately, even before taking office, flew to Washington for an interview with Colin Powell to plan the new policies. Bono was told in very terminant terms that the USA would NOT be transferring all political and military sovereignty by June 30 or any time soon. Bono then reiterated that the Spanish government had no other option but to withdraw the troops from Iraq after that date. Colin Powell then expressed that it was the view of the American government that if Spain was going to withdraw the US government prefferred it would do so immediately and not wait until June 30.

It was agreed by both governments that this was in the interests of both governments and they agreed to do it that way. Given the turn of things in Iraq these days Spain prefers not to be there for the next couple of months and the US governments said it was better if they pulled out right away rather than have the “uncertainty” for the next couple of months. In other words, better be done with it now and forgotten soon than have this issue in the news for the next couple of months. America would like this not to be mentioned any more than necessary.

While the Spanish government was happy to do it, it was done at the request of the American government. Which is why I do not think you will see any American official blaming Spain for not waiting until June 30.

The only ones who have not kept their promises to transfer power have been those in the American government. They are the ones who have done nothing but lie.

Needless to say I am extremely happy about Spain pulling out their troops. Spanish troops had no valid reason to be there and it could only lead to some of them getting killed or to them killing Iraqis, none of which had any justification and which has easily been resolved by pulling them out.

Now Spain can watch the match from the outside. America very arrogantly went against the rest of the world. Fine. Don’t blame the rest of the world if now they choose to stand by and watch to see what happens. We shall see how this unfolds but if America gets its ass kicked in Iraq, as seems more likely every day, many millions around the world are going to be very happy. And you can thank GWB for having given them that satisfaction.

I have always felt satisfaction when countries who started wars of agression were ultimately defeated. It happened in WWII, the Falklands and Kuwait. It should serve as a lesson that victory generally depends much more on having wide world support than in military might and that the world generally does not side with the agressors. The world always derives satisfaction is seeing the agressor defeated and humiliated. The world generally roots for David against Goliath. The world likes to stand by and watch while a bully takes a beating. It fulfills a sense of justice.

And, speaking of needless slaughters I feel great pity for the English language every time I see, like I see in the OP, “effect” and “affect” being mistaken. The correct sentence should be “how will this affect Iraqis?”.

Y’know, if that’s a swipe at Mr. Simmons, you may want to look up a few of his posts, get an idea of whom you’re addressing and hopefully realize that he has earned the right to address issues as war, politics and freedom in a way that you or I haven’t.

Well, Whatever the consequences for Bush and his merry man, [The Spanish people are sitting pretty.](Radical Muslim cleric welcomes Spain’s troop withdrawal from Iraq ).

I’m afraid Al Qaeda does think they made Spain withdraw. [never mind the Muslim cleric is as mad as a sick cow]