They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Friday, February 03, 2006

Dutch to 'show some guts' in Afghanistan

washingtonpost: After Long Debate, Dutch Agree to Send Force to Afghanistan

The Dutch parliament decided Thursday to send up to 1,700 troops to Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led reconstruction mission, after months of intense pressure from U.S. and NATO officials.

NATO authorities considered the Dutch vote crucial to the 6,000-member force the alliance plans to send this summer to the troubled southern provinces of Afghanistan where Taliban insurgents remain active. The United States is depending on the NATO effort to allow it to begin reducing some of its troops in the country.

But many Dutch lawmakers said they were concerned that the troops would be drawn into combat with Taliban forces, jeopardizing the ability to win the support of local Afghans for its intended assignment of building roads and schools, digging wells and other projects in the impoverished, isolated Uruzgan province.

"It's time for us to show some guts," Hans van Baalen, a member of the free-market VVD, the country's third-largest party, told the 150-member parliament. Read more

No doubt Hans van Baalen has a long and distinguished record of valor on the battlefield.