So much for multinational coalitions

By Joseph Farah

When the Philippine government agreed to terrorist demands to withdraw its troops from Iraq, it illustrated once more the problem with multinational coalitions.

This is what John Kerry wants.

This is what Kofi Annan wants.

This is what Ted Kennedy wants.

This is what Jacques Chirac wants.

They don’t want the United States to take any unilateral military action to defend its national interests and the security of its people. They want the United States to take all the risks, pay all the costs, bear all the burdens in protecting itself and the rest of the free world, but only if it can do so with the acquiescence and cooperation of many other nations who have little at risk.

The United States built such a coalition in Iraq. Some 36 nations have been involved – though, admittedly, only a few are making significant sacrifices in their commitments.

But such coalitions, unfortunately, are only as strong as their weakest links – as the world has witnessed with Spain’s capitulation to terrorism and now the Philippines’ unconditional surrender.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

All it took in the case of the Philippines was the taking of one Filipino hostage. When terrorists said they would kill the truck driver unless Manila pulled its troops out of Iraq, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo quickly caved to the demand.

That’s not an ally in the cause of freedom, that’s an ally in the cause of chaos and terrorism.

In the case of the Philippines, the country has more at stake than most members of the coalition. The nation is on the front lines of the global jihad.

Islamic terrorists have “menaced the southern Philippine islands, collaborated with murderous al-Qaida and Jemaah Islamiah operatives, and will now see every overseas Filipino worker as an irresistible tool for geopolitical extortion,” as Filipino-American columnist Michelle Malkin explained.

Arroyo practically sent out an engraved invitation to the terrorists to attack her country again and again.

Terrorism’s only incentive is that it sometimes works to achieve its objectives. Terrorism subsides when the terrorists get nowhere. When it is rewarded, as it was by the Philippines last week, it ensures further violent actions against the appeasers.

Worse yet, there are unconfirmed reports from the Philippines that its diplomats may have offered cash to the terrorists using al-Jazeera TV as an intermediary. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

Again, who needs allies like this?

America and Britain would be better off without the complications offered by nations like the Philippines, which offered up a token 51-member military force to the Iraq cause.

Was it worth it? Was it worth the shame and embarrassment? Was it worth handing the terrorists a propaganda victory? Will it be worth it when other foreigners are kidnapped, threatened and killed in Iraq and elsewhere because of the irresponsible and shortsighted actions of the Philippines?

Let’s be sure the next time we enter into one of these multinational coalitions that we are doing it for the right reasons.

It shouldn’t be a numbers game. It shouldn’t be a big show. It shouldn’t be about the numbers of flags we have waving in our force. It shouldn’t be about diversity and political correctness. It should be about one thing – winning the war.

We’d be better off with a troop of Girl Scouts in our coalition than a 51-member outfit that is going to cut and run at the first sign of danger to one of its citizens.

Let this be a lesson to all those wedded to the idea of these misguided, phony, show-and-tell alliances.