We all know about the blue states and red states. But there are also red countries. On the Bush administration’s color coded chart, red represents countries who are withdrawing their troops from the Iraq coalition.
Many of these countries only have a handful of troops or civilian workers in the region (in fact, no other country has more than 7,500 troops in Iraq and many coalition members are represented in the low hundreds), so in terms of actual numbers, the increasing number of departures probably doesn’t mean much.
But in terms of symbolism, it means a whole lot. Whatever one’s position was when it came to the invasion of Iraq, the departure of coalition troops now (often as a direct response to terrorist threats and/or acts) sends a strong message to the world and to Iraqis, and it sends an even stronger message to those who commit acts of terror.
And anyway you look at it, it’s the wrong message.