April 22, 2004


Happy bloggers in Iraq, and unhappy Spanish soldiers preparing to leave Iraq. Extract from the second piece:

Ordinary soldiers said the overwhelming majority of their comrades opposed Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's sudden decision to bring home the 1,432-strong contingent based here and in the nearby Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 22, 2004 04:13 AM

Yeah, I figured the Spanish soldiers would be against this retreat. Hopefully they get the word out in Spain that there is a lot of good being done in Iraq and more to do.

Somehow I'm not optimistic however.

Posted by: Dash at April 22, 2004 at 04:34 AM

These soldiers should show their dissatisfaction to Zapatero once they arrive. Now that would be something worthy of pay-per-view!

Posted by: madne0 at April 22, 2004 at 04:51 AM

Soldiers who oppose a left-wing government? Who would've thunk it?

Posted by: Robert at April 22, 2004 at 04:57 AM

The newsday writer (Iraqi bloggers) is an idiot. How dare he print the guys' last name; how dare he publish the name of the cyber cafe they used? Is the nut trying to get them killed? Does he think that Baghdad is Butte, Montana? Dolt!

Posted by: Helen at April 22, 2004 at 05:40 AM

Helen, I think that Omar probably let him do so. It is risky, true, but Omar isn't going to hide anymore. Which is why I read his blog daily. He has more courage than some nations, who will go unnamed.

Posted by: FH at April 22, 2004 at 06:59 AM

Ya gotta love the spirit of Ali Fadhil

My ideas are very shocking to people," Ali says. "I tell people I am a friend of America, a friend of Israel. Some of my colleagues at the hospital think I am an infidel. It's impossible to change a man's mind, but you can only make him consider other alternatives.

This could be the motto for TB's site.

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at April 22, 2004 at 08:22 AM

Not surprised by the reaction of the Spanish troops. That is the feeling that most of the coalition has. Just talk to someone that is actually there for 5 mins and all the bullshit that we get bombarded with in the media is quickly discredited.

Posted by: Oktober at April 22, 2004 at 08:26 AM

Just talk to someone that is actually there for 5 mins and all the bullshit that we get bombarded with in the media is quickly discredited.

That's the word I'm getting, too, and not just from military personnel. Some civilians that I know have gone over there, and return with much the same story.

And I am not surprised that the Spanish troops oppose their demobilization. I've heard the Spanish military is professional, and that's consistent with this report. Those guys apparently know what they are doing.

Posted by: JeffS at April 22, 2004 at 10:10 AM

Do you think some of these Spanish troops will quit and join Black Water or another private security force?

Posted by: vinny at April 22, 2004 at 10:14 AM

Since the US is being accused of using mercenaries anyway, maybe we should hire these guys. A special unit, a... legion... of foreigners... hmmm, a foreign legion... what a progressive and European concept...

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at April 22, 2004 at 10:49 AM

A foreign legion? An official military unit comprised of mercenaries? Wait a second, that rings a bell, but it's not European in general, it's some specific country in Europe. Which one? Switzerland? Luxemburg?

Can someone help me on this one? Sure is puzzling, I can't figure which European nation would dare use mercenaries, for God's sake.....

Posted by: JeffS at April 22, 2004 at 10:58 AM


JeffS, could it be the frog that dare not speak its name?

Posted by: Rebecca at April 22, 2004 at 11:08 AM

I read Iraq the model religiously.
And I fear for them now. This asshole giving out personal information that Omar and Ali never have shared on their own site is reprehensible.

Posted by: Papertiger at April 22, 2004 at 11:22 AM

The frog, Rebecca? The frog, you say? Do you mean FRANCE??? The peace loving, hand holding, negotiate at all costs, never-invade-another-country, nation of moderation, led by our esteemed World Leader Of Note (TM), President Chirac? France has mercenaries????!?!?!

Say it ain't so! Please! O, the horror of it all!

[/ham acting]

Y'know, to be fair, I don't recall France complaining about American "mercenaries" (if I am wrong, please let me know). But you gotta wonder if Fat Mike Moore holds France in high esteem because (among other reasons) France didn't send their state-approved mercenaries to Iraq.

Posted by: JeffS at April 22, 2004 at 11:59 AM

I think the US should hire the Ghurkas. I hear the UK is phasing them out.

Ooops. After a quick google:

"Global Risks, reported to have 100 former British SAS troopers, 500 former Nepalese Ghurkas and 500 ex-Fijian soldiers working on the ground in Iraq. This one company has the sixth largest troop contingent in the coalition."

I guess they might be #5 now.

Posted by: Bruce at April 22, 2004 at 02:25 PM

Well one thing you have to give Zappie la cabeza gorda is the sameness of his political and government philosophies when compared with most other European leaders. I'll bet the most difficult decision Zapatero makes each day is whether to wear the hot pink thong panties or the more comfortable, albeit less bold and lacking of risk, granny panties. Hmmm....come to think of it that another thing he has in common with most European leaders.

Posted by: HarryS at April 22, 2004 at 05:29 PM

I salute the Spanish soldiers and I am grateful for their courage and sacrifices. Gracias!. Via con Dios, compadres.

Posted by: nobody important at April 23, 2004 at 12:47 AM

I don't think this should impune the honour of the Spanish military any more than Clinton's decision to pull out of Somalia should impune the honour of the Rangers.

"Ours not to reason why..."

Posted by: Arnold at April 23, 2004 at 02:28 AM