Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dutch Courage

It's almost as agonizing to watch as the same debate going on at home. The Netherlands is now in the process of deciding what to do with their forces in Afghanistan when their mandate lapses next August.

The Dutch have contributed 1,000 soldiers plus helicopters and jet fighters. Holland initially went into the ISAF effort for two years with the expectation that other NATO members would take over when that commitment ended.

Now, like Canada, the Dutch have noticed there are no other NATO states lining up to take over.

The Dutch commitment was two years and out. Canada, after a farcical "debate", decided two years and then we'll see. That was back when Stephen Harper was obsessed with his manhood.

What the Dutch and we need to understand is that THIS IS AMERICA'S WAR. It's not a war for the survival of our very civilization. It was a war initiated by the United States in response to a criminal act that hit the skids when the United States decided they'd rather play with their tanks in another country, Iraq.

If NATO can't come up with other nations to shoulder their share of this mission, then it is the United States that should take over. It's Washington that has chosen to tie down 180,000 soldiers in Iraq, not NATO. It was Washington that convinced us to step in and mind the store while they stepped out to have a smoke in Iraq. It was Washington that was supposed to have the Iraq business wrapped up four years ago. It is Washington, not Brussels, that has created this godawful mess. Let's put the responsibility back where it truly belongs.

From the start of this NATO "mission" I was troubled that our alliance might easily be transformed into America's Foreign Legion. We're at that decision point right now. The alliance itself can't survive that. Let's focus on preserving the NATO alliance even if it means saying "No" to Washington.

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