This is a surprise to most as Berlusconi has been a pretty staunch supporter of the Iraqi conflict since day one. However, with things winding up over there and more Iraqi's defending themselves I can see his point. Some would question whether this was directly tied to the alleged Giuliana Sgrena
ransom payment -- I however do not. The main reason is that they have supported us for years even with their public seeming to no longer want to support it. Those who would bash Italy over this act now need to remember that democracy is one of the goals in the Middle East and to bash a country whose people have said they've had enough is ridiculous.
Unlike the French, who went around actively trying to get support against the US, the Italians have stuck by us. They're now withdrawing after the Iraqi elections and with an upsurge of Iraqi self reliance, unlike other countries who bailed before the elections. I doubt seriously if they would ever take the stance of actively trying to undermine what we are doing. Will those who are bashing Italy for withdrawing troops be bashing us when we start to pull troops out?
Italy is to begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq in September 2005, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said.
He told Rai state television the pullout would take place "in agreement with our allies".
Italy has 3,000 troops in Iraq - the fourth largest foreign contingent.
Domestic opposition to Italy's involvement in Iraq intensified after the killing of an Italian agent by US troops in Baghdad earlier this month.
The surprise announcement came as Italy's lower house of parliament backed a recent Senate vote to extend the country's military presence in Iraq beyond June.
The Moderate Voice
Ace of Spades
The Jawa Report
I know this is an important issue to you, but I really could give a fuck if I misused an apostrophe, that's what editors are for.
Posted by: Digger on March 17, 2005 09:25 AM