Coalition Trouble

From Holden:

The Italian Foreign Minister, channeling Brer Rabbit, says Italian troops will leave Iraq if asked:

The Italian government is ready to pull its troops working with the U.S.-led coalition out of Iraq if Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s government in Baghdad makes such a request, Italy’s Foreign Minister told al-Jazeera.

“We are ready to leave Iraq, even tomorrow, if the government of Allawi asks us,” Franco Frattini said in an interview with the Doha, Qatar-based television station.

Frattini’s comments contradict statements made by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who said Tuesday the Italian government won’t withdraw troops from Iraq following threats of attack by an armed group that kidnapped an Italian journalist.

Meanwhile, the effort to impeach Tony Blair begins:

SCOTTISH and Welsh Nationalists are leading an attempt to impeach Tony Blair for misleading Parliament in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

With the backing of two senior Tories – art spokesman Boris Johnson and Ribble Valley backbencher Nigel Evans – they want to use the ancient process to highlight the Prime Minister’s inaccurate comments about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

The mechanism has not been used for more than 150 years since an attempt to impeach Lord Palmerston over claims he had entered into a secret treaty with Russia.

But following a report by two academics – Glen Rangwala from Cambridge and Dan Plesch from London – the MPs have decided to resurrect the power.

Welsh Nationalist MP Adam Price said: “For the Prime Minister to mislead Parliament and public and get away with it is not acceptable.”

SNP Westminster leader Alex Salmond added: “There is no more serious charge than leading the country to war based on a lie.”

All nine Nationalist MPs have signed the motion, which will spark a debate in the Commons. There will then be a vote on whether Blair should be committed for trial by the House of Lords.