The Dutch coalition government falls over broken promises.
After 8 years of politricks, Afghan row was the last straw. Could this mean the end of Prime Minister Balkenende era?
The coalition Government lead by Balkenende has failed us. For the last 8 years we have been conducted by a pro European government, who fanatically led the country to the edge. Under the Balkenende era we’ve had food stamps, health insurance rate hike, more laws and we were on the brink of passing a resolution to raise the AOW (General Old Age Pensions Act) retirement age to 67, then to 70. This government has been nothing but arrogant towards his people. He never apologized, showed sympathy or regret anything.
For the last 8 years every coalition government led by Prime Minister Balkenende has been more loyal to the EU than to his own party beliefs. Last year it was no surprise to see the prime minister running tiredly for EU first president. Even I was sad when he lost the election of his life to the Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy. Don’t get me wrong, I support the basis of the EU but this sneaky man has kissed EU’s ass more than any other state representative. I know it is politics but come on, four times in a row? You can’t even govern at home, how are you going to govern a foreign country?
What lead to the downfall of the fourth Balkenende cabinet is the war in Afghanistan, to be precisely the Uruzgan Province, where the Dutch forces are stationed. The mission of the troops is fighting or rebuilding the country, depending which party you asked about it. On the 2nd of February 2006 the Dutch coalition government and the opposition voted to be part of the ISAF mission in Uruzgan in southern district of Afghanistan. The ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) was established to bring stability and democracy in Afghanistan. The mission was to be carried out by the NAVO countries. The Dutch government was asked to send troops to Uruzgan for the next two years to restore order and help rebuild the war torn province. The task of the troops was to carry out the ISAF mission, but gradually expended to fighting the Taliban actively.
All people are equal and have the right to live their life. If one side of the world is ailing we are all ill. So I put out my flag; go boys, save the world, we are proud of you.
In 2007 the government and the international community concluded after research that the Dutch combats were doing an excellent job in Uruzgan. There were 12 soldiers killed (21 body counts currently), but we were loved and Balkenende could shake hands and meet with his heroes around the world for tea. He had the time to meet with any leader, except the Dalai Lama of course, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. After all the Dutch relationship to China is sacred and prime minister Wen Jiabao warned Balkenende not to endanger their relationship. Whoa, I didn’t know The Netherlands was a province of China. Anyway, in the same year to keep up the euphoria the NAVO asked the Dutch government to stay in Uruzgan as a leading nation after 2008.
Prime Minister Balkenende went on a tirade with his NAVO buddies. They claimed the troops needed more time to finish the job. Eventually they won majority vote to extend the mission till the 1st of August 2010. Before extending the mission the government made a pledge to the people. The people were told the mission will only last till August 2010 and they even set a deadline for the troops to withdraw. By December 2010 all troops will return and NAVO will seek for replacement, which was no longer our headache. I did not agree with this one, for the simple fact that other EU members except a few were doing nothing to…nothing. And if they were doing something they were stationed at saver places with less mannschaft. Mr. B. flexes his muscles and the opposition was left hopeless. The lucky bastard got it his way.
Now after months of the last agreement, Mr. B. once again wants to keep troops in Uruzgan. He uses all kind of tactics and politricks thinking the people are stupid. Like we don’t remember what he said back in 2007. He’s telling you and me that if we leave now all the hard work will be for nothing. This man is not even thinking about the promise he made to the Dutch people. Of course some things are changed; Obama is the president of the United States, more countries are committed helping out, even Russia, who previously stayed out of this. Nevertheless the Dutch troops has done their part, therefore the new committed countries should do their part as well and let the Dutch troops who are relatively young boys and girls return home safe. Now after their return to their loved ones the government could always analyze the situation and the current state of the war. If they think the troops can be useful and have the means to do so, then the cabinet should start a new dialogue about going to Afghanistan. In this case the government would have kept his word and the people could have had more trust in their government. Balkenende showed bad leadership by dancing to the tune of Obama’s administration and the EU. I applaud the labour party PvdA (the party with no backbone) for stepping out the coalition and bringing down the glass house, although they did it for politricks, it worked fine for me. The troops are coming home as promised, unless on the Election Day on the 9th of June 2010 the people fall into another trap of Balkenende.