Friday, May 19, 2006

New Italian PM Criticizes Iraq War

With the odious Silvio Berlusconi gone from the helm as Prime Minister, his successor is attempting to regain the respect of the rest of the world.

Italy's new prime minister declared Thursday that the war in Iraq was a "grave error" that risked igniting conflict in the entire Middle East region. He said Italy would stick with plans to bring home its 2,700 troops stationed there but gave no timetable for their return.

Making his first policy address as head of government, Romano Prodi formally abandoned the unequivocal support that his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, gave to U.S. policy in Iraq...

Prodi was addressing the Senate, where he and his coalition have a meager margin of votes, on the eve of a vote of confidence. His camp hopes the vote will be the final confirmation of power for his coalition, which includes eight parties, among them socialists, former Communists, environmentalists and former Christian Democrats.

The group has in the past supported Italian military missions abroad -- in the Balkans, for example. But Prodi said Thursday that "we didn't agree to the war in Iraq and the Italian participation. We consider the war in Iraq and the occupation of that country a grave error."

Prodi also spoke of a truth, the consequences of which the Bush administration and it's apologists will be long blamed:

The war "did not resolve, but rather has complicated, the problem of security," he said. "Terrorism has found in Iraq a new base and new pretexts for terrorist actions that are inside and outside the Iraqi conflict."

The "Coalition of the Well-Wishers" keeps shrinking:

He said his government intended to bring home the 2,700 Italian troops left in southern Iraq "within the time technically necessary" and after consultation with "all the interested parties."...

With Berlusconi's electoral defeat in April, President Bush lost another faithful ally in Europe. In 2004, Spanish troops pulled out almost immediately after another Bush ally, Jose Maria Aznar, lost an election.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has kept thousands of troops in Iraq, took a blow recently with his Labor Party's poor showing in municipal elections.

Poland has more than halved its force, to about 1,000, and Ukraine pulled out all of its soldiers after a change of government. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, often cited by Bush in stump speeches as one of his best friends abroad, plans to step down in September.

Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic had forces in Iraq but withdrew them.

Twenty-six countries, including Australia, Japan and South Korea, have troops there.

Berlusconi had already yielded to Italian public opinion and had started the full withdrawal of his troops from Iraq.

Prodi is trying to score points domestically and abroad by saying the right thing.


Blogger Orikinla Osinachi. said...

But majority of us know that even Prodi is right.

The sooner America pulls out the occupation army in Iraq the better.

God bless.

5/19/2006 3:41 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

No argument here.

Besides, Bush is gonna need the troops for when we invade Iran.

5/19/2006 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Burke said...

Pull out, Oriknila?!!(Hey, that don't sound white or American)

Are you insane? High oil prices are every environmentalists wet dream. Too bad though the windfalls ain't going into the pockets of conservationists. But hey...

Nevertheless, I say keep stoking the flames of Iraq with expendable hillbillies and colored folk to keep oil flows choked and prices high.

We've got too many poor as it is and plenty more fencejumpers to replace 'em. Hurricanes the likes of Katrina can't take care of all our utopic gentrification wishes.

Keep pumping in our minorities and Ozark mountain cretins into the Middle East as target practice for the enraged carpet riding locals and sooner or later we'll reach a ceiling on oil prices where we will cut back on our consumption and downsize our cars.

A dead wetback in fatiques for a flapping spotted owl. Yeah, I told you Shell is good for the environment. You just have to give everything its due time.

5/19/2006 6:06 PM  

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