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don't let the door hit your ass, etc.

Ok, thanks Philippines. We'll be seeing ya. And hey, make sure you give us a call when your friends in Abu Sayyaf start acting up and we'll come give you a hand, ok? You do realize that you're basically sending a personal ad to terrorists saying "loves appeasement, caving in to terror demands and living under radical Muslim rule," right? Ok, then. Thanks for joining the War on Terrorism. Your parting gifts will be left in a car or a building or a plane.


As usual domestic pressure got the best of another country. In fairness they only had 50 some people there are were going to be pulling out anyway next month so why not move it up a week or two and save a life?

If the next elections in Australia and Great Britain don't support this war, Bush (and the next Presidents) will have a hard time getting any help whatsoever in the future.

That's why the focus on weapons of mass destruction and terrorist links, as well as the prison torture scandals were such big issues. This went from a difficult to sell but easy to justify war to take out one of the worst dictators in recent history to a public relations nightmare that will make an agressive American foreign policy much more difficult.

In the real world, we can decide that every country is in the with us or against us column. But other countries, thinking of their own interests, can be neutrals in this war. At least in the short term. Short term being a few election cycles.

Another one bites the dust. I have no idea what the diplomatic fallout from a withdraw by the Phillipines will mean, but hopefully it won't prevent further U.S. and Phillipine action against Al Qaeda elements in Asia.

I honestly don't see how Kerry could hope to keep the Phillipines, or Spain, in the coalition. These nations had little heart for the enterprise, and when things turned ugly, they ran. Sunshine soldiers indeed.

I don't know what to think. Jim Dunnigan over a Strategypage seems to think we are slowly winning the war against Islamic radicalism by slowly killing off the upper eschelon command structures from Al Qaeda and affiliated organizations, but I'm not so sure. Fighting terrorism is a global affair, which seems to heavily involve cooperation with foreign intelligence services, and foreign governments to help stem the flow of funds into terrorist organizations. I have no idea if Spain is still actively aiding the U.S. government or not.

Getting a nation to committ to antiterror operations seems to take quite a bit of subtle diplomacy, and more of the carrot than the stick. Getting a nation to quit appears to merely involve kidnapping and murdering a single citizen of said nation.

Are we really winning? Can we even win? Will there ever be an end to this? I don't know, and no-one else seems to, either. I wish the President would do a better job of explaining our objectives, purpose, strategy, and results to date in the greater war. Obviously, there are many aspects he cannot divulge for reasons of operational security. Yet we hear of few successes, and the word from the news outlets is a steady drumbeat of pessimism and barely-disguised glee at our setbacks suffered to date.

Ugh. I just don't know what to think anymore.

Well, at least people who have expected America and other countries to cave in, will see what this creates. This is definitely NOT GOOD!...for them. They will learn that soon enough, though. And unfortunately, the non-goodness will spill over some for us to clean up. UGH

The successes in a war on terror are non-stories: the bomb that didn't go off at the school/bus stop/train station/government building. It's hard to laud non-events.

Of course, if Bush was more believable on the basic on-the-ground facts, he might be more comfortable giving them. As it is, however, the good news and the bad news are pretty well stuck together. If he was a general, he could say we're slogging through and making progress. But a politician doesn't have that ability in an election year. Unless he's really brave and a bit foolhardy.

I think it would be wickedly ironic if the Filipino who got kidnapped in Iraq ends up going home and then it kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf.

It's war. There are going to be setbacks. The enemy isn't going to wait around and do nothing while we take them apart.

I no longer believe that small countries' contribution to the WOT is worth the risk of their withdrawal. The US needs their troop contribution and "legitimacy" far less than the terrorists need the victories that driving them out provides them.

The US can fight and win the war without marginal allies. The terrorists cannot win without victories of their own. After Spain- their first significant victory since 9-11, it's little wonder that they direct their efforts to the weakest links in the alliance opposing them.

Gregory: Are President Bush's weekly radio addresses carried where you live? That's one source of positive news. Of course, those that believe "BUSH LIED!" will place little value on what he has to say, but I enjoy listening.

Insomni: Thanks for the tip, I'll check out the next address. I stopped listening to the radio sometime around 2000. I'm a true child of the 90's, and as far as I can tell rock and roll is now thoroughly dead and buried. I moved a couple of months ago, and haven't even bothered to hook up my stereo. I don't own a car, so I don't get much radio exposure there, either.

I get a real kick out of some of my liberal friends who accuse me of being a dittohead. I haven't listened to AM radio since middle school.

I agree with the poster who said that
little countries that contribute a few
troops are probably not worth the
direct effort. There is lots of
useful work that countries like the
Philipines can do, such as intel
gathering (they can probably infiltrate
outfits that we can't easily), money
tracing, and other crucial
"back office" work
in the WoT. But it is clear that a
couple dozen symbolic - and highly
visible - troops on the
ground isn't worth the political risk
that domestic political changes will
cause them to pull out.

To borrow your theme Michele,

Weak, docile appeaser seeks strong, hooded type with a penchant for cutting off heads.

Brave Sir Robin ran away,
bravely ran away away.
When danger reared its ugly head,
he bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about,
and valiantly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet,
he beat a very brave retreat.
A brave retreat by brave Sir Robin.

The trouble is that the Phillipines isn't just a "little country contributing a few troops." It's also a front-line state in the global war, and one we can't allow to be used as a base for terrorism. But their capitulation now makes future challenges and capitulations more likely.

Next one might be "Now to appease us, you must withdraw all your civilian workers from Arab lands." (Which would actually be a pretty potent achievement for al Qaedist types wanting to overthrow Arab governments - a lot of states like Saudi Arabia are quite dependent on Filipino labor.)

After that, "Now, you must withdraw the Army from Mindanao and allow Abu Sayyaf and al Qaeda freedom of movement there."


Appeasement worked so well for Chamberlain. Kept peace in our time and everything. What? It didn't?

Well, I'm sure the enlightened and nuanced know how to do it right this time.......

It's kind of hard to accuse the Filipino government of appeasement unless they stop dealing with the terrorists in their own backyard.

In their case, they actually do have more important things to deal with than Iraq.

Douglas MacArthur's skeleton slowly spins in the casket.

well, jon

How is giving into the Islamofascists in Iraq going to help the Filipino governments efforts to erradicate Islamofascists at home?

Firstly, wasn't it about 50 troops in Iraq? Secondly, they probably need hundreds or thousands to deal with their Islamists at home. So, which is the more important fight? It's easy for us to say that Iraq and the Philippines are both fronts in the war on terror, but we aren't one of those two fronts (actually we are, which is why the Border Patrol isn't in Iraq). What is the Philippines' reward for staying in Iraq?

If I was a Filipino and there were terrorists in my own country, those 50 troops in Iraq are a wasted resource. It probably doesn't help the fight in Iraq, but it makes the fight in the Philippines a tiny bit easier.

Especially if those troops learned some valuable lessons.

By "wasted resource" I only meant it in the cost/benefit way of looking at things.

In defense of the Philippines, they have their own problems and don't need to waste their resources helping us.

Fighting in Iraq is not a job for the faint-hearted, or for those who cut and run, but only for those who will endure until the job is done. In a way, Iraq is separating the men from the boys, and the women from the girls. So far we know the Little Girl nations are Spain and the Philippines. That's nice to know.

"Don't let the door hit you on the ass" and "little girl nations" are just the kind of thanks we give to countries that help us out, but then back out.

Is it better to be a coward/non-participant, or a less-than-stalwart coalition member? In the long term, we'd probably be better off with more of the latter than the former.

It wasn't the withdrawal that pisses me off as much as the bumbling, craven way they did it. What a mess. Don't get me wrong, I used to work on cruise ships and I still have many Philipino friends from those halcyon days. I'm sure we're still banned from half the taverns in San Pedro. Those people sure know how to party and I've never met a more loyal and friendly bunch, but their government is the most corrupt and incompetent democracy in the world. It seems that their best and brightest get the hell out as soon as they are old enough to fill out a work visa.

At least they went though. When their long-time ally and biggest trading partner asked for help in a crisis they responded with the best troops they could afford and played a role in putting that murderous bastard in jail where he belongs; unlike a few other countries I could name like ohh I dunno.....CANADA for example. At least a few of us up here are unenlightened and unnuanced (is that a word?) enough to be embarassed by our chicken-shit, UN-led government.

Who knew the Philippines had any troops in Iraq? I thought this was a unilateral war.

The point isn't its effect on us, which is likely nil beyond a small PR loss. The point is its effect on the Filipino government, which now looks like it can be pushed around the minute someone gets kidnapped. This will increase kidnappings of Filipinos by everyone--not just terrorists.

The reason the U.S. doesn't pay ransoms or otherwise acquiese to outlaw demands--even if an American is being held hostage--is that once we say "yes" once, we can expect A LOT more of the same. And there are Americans nearly everywhere these days: no one would be safe.

Feh, the Filipinos have too many problems of their own to deal with the Iraq issue. The Abu Sayyaf terrorists are getting more and more restless everyday. What the hell else are they supposed to do?