Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Poland to Pull Troops From Iraq at End of Year

Yahoo! News - Poland to Pull Troops from Iraq at End of Year

The "coalition of the willing" continues to dwindle down to a precious few, even though the President insists it isn't so.

France and Germany, of course, were never a part of it. Nor were Belgium, Norway, or Canada. Ireland--the "Celtic Tiger" of the European Union--maintained its traditional neutrality.

Spain was a member, but left following the March 11, 2004 bombings. New Zealand is gone, as is Hungary and Portugal.

Once-hawkish Bulgaria begins to reduce its troop level by late June.

In response to massive protests and negative public opinion, Italy will remove its troops in September. Ukrainian soldiers are leaving. And now, Poland.

The eastern-European, former Soviet-bloc countries ("new Europe") like Poland were once strong supporters of the US invasion. Many have had to come to terms with popular opinion at home. The Polish government of Prime Minister Marek Belka is in danger of losing upcoming elections, and dare not extend its committment in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis have mounted protests calling for a swift US exit from Iraq.

Mission Accomplished?

Time will tell.

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