05/09/2004: Reading between the lines?
An article in the LA Times (free registration required) notes that NATO, which had been expected to next month announce an expanded role for the alliance in Iraq, is now declining to do so:
The Bush administration's hopes for a major NATO military presence in Iraq this year appear doomed, interviews with allied defense officials and diplomats show.What has me intrigued is the possibility that "after the U.S. presidential election in November" is a code for "we'll get involved if you Americans turn George W. Bush out of office". Given that there have been some reports that anti-Bush feelings among foreigners is at an all time high, that doesn't strike me as all that far-fetched.
The Western military alliance had expected to announce at a June summit that it would accept a role in the country, perhaps by leading the international division now patrolling south-central Iraq. But amid continuing bloodshed and strong public opposition to the occupation in many nations, allies want to delay any major commitment until after the U.S. presidential election in November, officials say.
Len on 05.09.04 @ 07:47 PM CST