These guys are really on our side

Polish Troops Won’t Leave Iraq in 2005

I see this as great news. You all know that I’m a bit of a fan of Poland.

Although dozens of nations have or have had troops in Iraq, all along it’s been the USA, the UK, Autralia, and Poland that have been unfaltering in their commitment to victory and freedom in Iraq. (via Rantburg)


  1. In the editorial section of the Toronto Star: The imminent historic rise of religious Shiite power in Iraq, with its inevitable linkages to Iran, is decidedly not what President George W. Bush had bargained for. In fact, he spent the last 22 months trying to prevent just such an outcome. Yet, here is his administration sounding sanguine about the sweeping electoral win of the slate blessed by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. It is saying he won’t establish mullahcracy in Iraq. It doesn’t know that. It is only hoping so. Only a handful of people know what Sistani really wants. He won’t allow any American near his home in Najaf, let alone take a phone call from Bush. The ayatollah does not give speeches, or deliver Friday sermons. He rarely leaves his abode. He issues few statements and fewer fatwas. The latter tend to be metaphysical. Americans are from one planet, ayatollahs from another. The latter live a simple life, eating mostly rice, yoghurt and honey. Calm, serene and unhurried, they live long. The four I have interviewed or observed at close quarters were in their 80s and 90s, and in fine form. With the exception of Ayatollah Khomeini, who spoke with Bush-like bombast, senior Shiite clerics tend to be hermeneutical, leaving a trail of many meanings. They speak allegorically and take their time making a point, if they are making one. Americans don’t have the training or the patience for any of that, even if they can sit cross-legged on a carpeted floor for long stretches. Bush first tried to install the secular Ahmad Chalabi as Iraqi strongman. When that failed, he settled for another bully, Iyad Allawi. He resisted direct elections for fear that the ‘wrong people’ would win. He allowed the vote only when he could no longer avoid it. Now he must live with what’s being called the electoral equivalent of the ‘Sistani tsunami.’ What does the ayatollah want? It helps to know that he is a pragmatist who manoeuvres through the labyrinth of power and decision-making. In April, 2003, when the invading American and British forces were hesitating to enter Najaf and Basra, he sent word that residents offer no resistance. But he did not extend a welcome. His refusal to see American envoys is his way of not endorsing the occupation. Similarly, he did not see an official Iranian delegation, lest it be seen as a nod to Tehran’s interference. While he blessed the wide-ranging Shiite coalition for the election, he never did formally endorse the slate. But he did not object to candidates waving his picture, and win by association. What he did call for, clearly, was for the faithful to vote. They did in droves, risking their lives. He opposes the Iranian model, specifically the Khomeini concept of vilayat-e-faghih, supreme spiritual leader. He does not want clerics to run the government. That does not mean he is seeking a secular state. He wants an Islamic democracy. When he compromised last year to have the interim constitution list Islam as a, rather than the, source of law, he also insisted that no law ‘contradict the universally agreed tenets of Islam.’ He will be intimately involved in the writing of the permanent constitution. It remains to be seen where he comes down between the growing chorus of conservatives wanting old-style sharia and secularists who insist on retaining civil law. Wise Words

  2. Well, let’s see, for $100,000,000.00, Poland is going to keep about 1,700 soldiers in Iraq (after a planned reduction of forces this month). So, that works out to a payment of $58,823.53 per Polish soldier. Do our own soldiers make this much? I somehow doubt it. I wonder how much we would have paid Morocco for the mine-defusing monkeys?

  3. I don’t know why I posted this, i just wanted to post this article because I am interested in seeing what kind of government will in the end take root in Iraq. I just hope we will not be stuck with a worse one. But the thing with the poeple of the region is that sometimes i think they bring this on themselves by repeatedly voting for Islamic leaders. Religion of peace my ass. Go Israel. Ooops drifted of topic. sorry dude

  4. Brad, Cashmere, and Jason: You guys roommates or neighbors or clones or something? Anyway, $100 million for 1700 Polish troops does indeed come out to $58,000. And $60 billion (out of $80 billion) for 120,000 US troops comes out to $500,000. What are you getting at? And if I find the time and inclination, I may respond to your comment on the Hellfire post. But it didn’t have anything to do with the Hellfire post. Why not comment about the post you’re commenting on? The $58,000 thing on the Poland post was a start. Thanks for reading.

  5. I don’t know about Brad and Jason, but I’m a lone ranger(ess). And on the fancy mathwork, you forget that the US has orders of magnitude more equipment in Iraq than the Poles do. And with it comes the far higher maintainance, logistics, etc costs. Poland, with its 1700 soldiers, and barely any heavy machinery on the field, has no such additional costs. And I am sure you are aware of the difference between the US spending money on its own troops and GIVING money to another country so that it will supply its troops. This is basically buying troops, not help. When I pay the electrician 200 dollars for an hour of work, I do not tell my whole friends circle ‘hey man, you won’t believe it. this guy came over and fixed my fuse box, and all i had to do was pay him 200 dollars.’ Have u seen this machines, they give you a can of pop, no strings attached, all you gotta do is put dollar coins into them.

  6. See, there it is again. What you people don’t realize when you talk about those dollar amounts, is the cost of supplies for 1 soldier to be supplied for 1 day, thousands of miles from home. What it costs to transport the supplies, ammo, vehicles, ice, food, bandages, I.V. solution, medicines, water, fuel, lube oil, generators, mail, PX items, and everything else it takes to keep that soldier fighting. I love the poles. I love the brits, aussies, kiwis, and anybody else that’ll spend money, time, and lives of their young to help us do what needed done. Thank God for a free and democratic country that’ll actually stand next to it’s allies and fight. F^(# the French. I’ll take Poland, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand any time. The French and Germans can just take a flying leap. We’ve given them so much the last 100 years, and they just keep shoving it up our @$$e$. Well, hell with them, and the U.N. I say we make it a coalition of the willing, and the BRAVE. You know the french won’t show up then.

  7. and as for your ‘We’ve given them so much the last 100 years’ its obvious u were fed only American History (Propoganda) as a high school student. If you were informed of the intricate details, you would know the originally the US wanted to split West Germany into a number of smaller mini states, and turn it into a bunch of weak agricultural states. However, AFTER the Soviet Union announced its plans for Eastern Germany, the US decided, on the basis of the Truman Doctrine, that they cannot allow the Communist part of Germany to become stronger and upset the balance of power in the region. That is when they decided to pump money into Germany, as part of its Cold War tactics, to let West Germany to develop into a formidable opponent to the East.

  8. Buying and propping up allies (I’m for sale! I’m for sale! Take me, I’ll go! LOL!) isn’t anything new. Whether that’s really the case with Poland, and some other contributers to the Coalition IS endlessly debateable. I’m glad the Poles are staying, and all the others as well. Sorry to see those who dropped out…….that’s not necessarily what the coalition troops themselves wanted (or maybe it was). The Bushites have gotten us into a mutidecade commitment with smooth talk about how necessary it all was, how we’d walk all over them (and we did that to Saddam’s crew), and get those WMD. Nice rap Bush. Unfortunately we’ve now purchsed this very fine automobile, we’ve got a lot of payments to make in this long haul/HARD road, and it’s defintely NOT drive through. Which is all most Americans are capable of (my opinion right or wrong). I’m grateful evervday for the Poles and all the others!

  9. There’s no doubt that the money we send Poland is at least a part of why they’re willing to send/keep troops in Iraq. They couldn’t afford it, otherwise, even if they WERE willling to help simply on principle. But that’s a far cry from buying mercenaries. We sent Britain and the USSR boatloads of money and other aid during WW2. Part of our capability has always been to bankroll things. For what it’s worth, I’d rather whip out the credit card than be in the path of the Panzers.