Thursday, May 05, 2005

Who needs clean water anyways?

Japan news:
TOKYO — The government has begun making arrangements to withdraw the Self-Defense Forces from Iraq in December, when their reconstruction assistance mission is set to expire, government sources said Wednesday. The ruling coalition plans to notify the Diet and countries concerned as early as September and then switch its form of aid mainly to official development assistance, the sources said. The arrangement is meant to coincide with the scheduled launch of a legitimate Iraqi government and the expiration of the deployment of U.N.-sanctioned multinational forces in Iraq at the end of this year, they said. (Kyodo News)

As Juan Cole notes:

"Japanese Self-Defense Forces, ... have been helping with water purification and reconstruction in Samawah in southern Iraq... The UN Security Council resolution authorizing the multi-national forces in Iraq expires in December, and many Bush administration allies are taking advantage of that expiry to announce they will pull troops out then. Hmm. Maybe, contrary to what John Bolton says, the United Nations does exist after all. Maybe a lot of countries even pay more attention to it than they do to Washington."

Doubtful, but it might be a nice change of pace.

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