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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Italy: unwilling and angry

The BBC has some excerpts from Romano Prodi's first speech to the Italian Senate as Prime Minister.
"We consider the war and occupation in Iraq a grave error that hasn't solved - but has complicated - the problem of security," Mr Prodi said.

"It is therefore the government's intention to propose to parliament the withdrawal of our troops, even if we are proud of the display of professional ability, courage and humanity they have been giving."
Remember when George W. Bush called for a crusade against the terrorists? Apparently, Prodi does:
He added that most importantly, the international community should not be "indulgent to suggestions of fundamentalism of the opposing strain, which preach crusades and indiscriminately advocate clashes of civilisations."
This may be the first I've posted on the disintegration of the "coalition of the willing" since January 2006, when I previously noted Italy's announcement that it would be out by the end of 2006. It's not clear that Prodi will hasten the Italian withdrawal.

I also noted Ukraine's withdrawal at an earlier date, as well as Poland's. That latter post also discusses the "unwilling" support of the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Thailand.

A still older post discussed the withdrawal of the Philippines, Honduras, and Spain.

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