Italy Backs Down

We could be upset with Italy — but how would that help? The pacifist/communists rabble rousers stirred the country into a hornets nest. Yesterday, Italy gave the terrorists/kidnappers exactly what they wanted: they will withdraw troops from Iraq. So, once again, Italy pays an incredible ransom.

It makes no difference that Italy did this to themselves – that the act of paying millions of dollars in ransoms just encouraged the terrorists to kidnap more Italians. No, that doesn’t seem to matter. We unfortunately added fuel the fire by shooting Sgrena’s escape car and killing an intelligence officer. Of course, our troops had no way to know the car wasn’t a suicide bomber. But, that doesn’t matter to the up-in-arms Italian factions. (Editor’s note: I disagree with the new MSM and politically correct term “homicide bomber.” By definition, most bombers intend to take lives. What defines the jihadists is the fact they willingly take their own life in order to take that of others – suicide bombers.)

The MSM reports that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced plans to start withdrawing his country’s contingent of 3,000 from Iraq amid widespread anger over the recent killing of the Italian officer by U.S. troops. However, Italy says the September troop withdrawal is contingent on the ability of Iraq’s soldiers to secure their country. It sounds like Berlusconi injected some “wiggle room” into his plan. From the beginning, he was a staunch supporter of the US plan to liberate Iraq.

The truth behind the withdrawal is Berlusconi must run for reelection next year. One of his major opponents and the opposition leader, Romano Prodi, has already used recent events to his advantage. “It’s the logical consequence of a wrong decision,” Prodi was quoted as saying in daily La Repubblica today. “This long-awaited news confirms our stance.”

Although regrettable, not every country can tout a principled leader – one that does what he thinks is right regardless of political consequences. President Bush is such a leader. He was willing to forgo reelection in order to complete a successful mission in Iraq. As a nation, we embraced his strength and integrity. Both the popular and electoral votes came out in his favor – even though the war, itself, had become less popular. Tony Blair also shows the same fortitude. This kind of moral fiber can only engender respect from both friend and foe.

Although you can’t tell from MSM reports, things in Iraq are really on the upswing. The Iraqi people have turned against the insurgents in increasing numbers; and, the Iraqi Army has begun to secure their own country. Afghanistan, the country media forgets to mention these days, underwent a remarkable transformation. In a country the USSR — with all its might — couldn’t control, we and our coalition partners have successfully brought freedom and democracy. There’s no reason to think Iraq cannot emulate this same success.

So, be magnanimous with Italy and Berlusconi. We’ve been there ourselves; the Clinton years come to mind. Appreciate their support and friendship for what it’s worth. Understand that it takes a special leader to understand the need to do the right thing – regardless of political ramifications.

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