Title: “2 U.S. Helicopters Crash; Poland Ends Its Iraq Role”
Source: The New York Times
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/world/middleeast/05iraq.html?_r=1&scp=2& sq=poland&st=cse&oref=slogin
On October 4, 2008, two U.S. helicopters crashed in northern Baghdad. One Iraqi soldier was killed, and two Iraqi and three American soldiers were hurt. However, this crash is not considered to be the result of an enemy attack. The Iraqi police reported that there were shots taken around the area of the helicopter, and it caught fire before it crashed. This occurred near a Sunni neighborhood and Sadr City, which is Shiite.
Earlier on October 4, Poland ended its military mission in Iraq. The 900 remaining soldiers are expected to return to Poland by late October. At one point, Poland had 2 500 troops in Iraq. Poland was one of the countries that were referred to as supporting the American invasion. Polish troops operated out of Camp Echo in Qadisiya Province in southern Iraq. Twenty-one Polish soldiers died while operating there. Other countries, such as Ukraine, Latvia, Romania, Armenia, Britain, and Albania, have forces in that area. Qadisiya Providence has been the most turbulent in the south besides Basra. In the past years, Italy, Japan, Spain, and other countries have left Iraq.
The news of the helicopter crashing in Baghdad may or may not evoke a reaction in Iraq since there have been many crashes. While the death of their own soldiers might upset the citizens, since only a few were hurt or killed, they may not become too angry. However, the withdrawal of Polish troops should draw a bigger reaction from the people of Iraq. Since many of the citizens are not happy with how the troops have been controlling their country, the Polish troops leaving will most likely give those people hope and make them push harder for the other troops to leave. Those that are content with the troops are probably disappointed because they feel as if the world is abandoning them, making them more upset at other nations. The United States is sending in some of its own troops to replace those of the Polish, which could also cause a reaction. Those who are against the United States could be upset with these added troops.
Again, while the helicopter crashing does not have huge implications for the rest of the world, the withdrawal of Polish troops does. Poland was considered to be one of the nations that were united with the United States. By withdrawing troops from Iraq, the country is showing some sort of doubt or disapproval for what the United States is doing. This act makes the world once again question the ethics and the efficiency of what the United States is doing. Many countries have left the United States efforts against Iraq, showing their disapproval; Poland reemphasizes it. Also, the United States is adding its own troops to replace those of Poland’s. Not only will the Iraqi people who are anti-United States resent this, those in America who are against the war will also feel that adding more United States troops is a bad idea. Since not as many troops are being added as there were, it could make people happy by implying there will be a United States withdrawal soon. However, more likely than not, the citizens will view this deployment to the new area as an increase in troops. This will increase hostility toward the United States in Iraq and also in the United States. Additionally, spreading the United States troops wider will not seem good to some of the international community who, as evidenced by their pulling out, feel as though it is more beneficial to stay out of Iraq than it is to stay in.