The Coalition of the Willing appears to be going out of business.Actually it is due to the UN "mandate" - always a transparently phoney legal proposition in any case - expiring at the year, and the lack of any Iraqi agreement to replace it, and the lack of any public support for this foolish charade in member nations.
President Bush tucked a little extra news yesterday into a speech largely devoted to informing the public that he plans to withdraw 8,000 more troops from Iraq: He also announced that most of the countries that have been partnering with the United States in Iraq over the past five years will be pulling their troops out as well.
"Australia has withdrawn its battle group, the Polish contingent is set to redeploy shortly, and many more coalition nations will be able to conclude their deployments to Iraq this year -- thanks to the skill of their troops and the success of their missions," Bush said in a speech to the National Defense University.
The Coalition of the Willing was always a very meagre and transparent affair, cobbled together only when the UN had firmly refused to back the USA's illegal pre-emptive invasion with a further resolution endorsing force. But what is really telling today is that the USA would not even be able to cobble together such a sycophantic coalition any more. We have all learned our lesson! The neconon vision of unassailable US power throughout the 21st Century will have to rely on Hard Power or disappear - the Soft Power option is dead.
Even Bush, much as he refuses to admit it in public, has surely learned his lesson. One can only wonder whether the stupid bastard will ever dare admit it, and acknowledge his mistakes, before he goes to meet his Maker. I doubt it.