Thursday, March 18, 2004
Spanish Withdrawal

I think that the Spanish withdrawal from Iraq brings out a major flaw in Bush's so-called Doctrine - that unilateralism is a double edged sword.

Pro-War commentators such as Andrew Sullivan complain that it hurts the cause against terrorism that an important ally like Spain is withdrawing without paying any heed to what happens to the cohesion among nations in the war against non-state actors such as Al-Qaeda. However, this is exactly what the Bush admn did when it rushed into the war in Iraq. To add insult to the injury, it rubbed it into the face of countries like France and Germany by petulantly calling them names.

Make no mistake. I am not saying that Saddam was a good man. That his was the sort of despicable regimes that need to be erased is a fact that is acknowledged by many people on both sides of the debate. I am not even suggesting that the Bush administration should have grovelled before France and Germany to support the war. They may have had their own ulterior motives in opposing this war. However, Bush should have cornered them into supporting the war. It was quite possible - as their ultimate acquiescence to SC Resolution 1441 showed. Bush was worried only about the impending elections then - local politics trumped the global foreign policy goals.

Now, the boot is on the other foot. In Spain too, local politics has trumped foreign policy goals. And now, the pro-war group is crying foul. As dangerous as this development is, they have no right to.

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