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Dear Russ, Maybe this could be a hint. Best Andreas ------------------ http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2003/03/oldweiler-c-03-25.html Allied Farces The coalition of the sort of willing and not very important By Cory Oldweiler Web Exclusive: 3.25.03 Whether hyping dubious links between Iraq and al-Qaeda or using forged evidence of Iraq's nuclear program, the Bush administration has proven itself adept at spinning the American public on the facts surrounding the war with Iraq. And no piece of spin has enjoyed more success than the fiction that America is fighting side by side with a robust, multilateral "coalition of the willing." As I write, the number of nations is up to 46, but that could always change -- Angola, after all, was on the official White House list for less than a day before being removed. Of these courageous and non-French countries, two things can be said: They are not, in the realm of Great Power politics, the most impressive group of nations ever assembled into a global coalition -- and, in some cases, they may not even be allies. The most obvious question mark is Turkey (1), which originally decided not to support the war, stunning the administration by refusing a generous financial package (read: bribe). The Turks have now grudgingly granted use of their airspace, but they're still denying access to U.S. ground forces. Providing a glimpse into how hawks currently feel toward Turkey, the staunchly pro-war William Safire yesterday used his New York Times column to denounce the "troublesome Turks." So that alliance is off to a great start. Back when Secretary of State Colin Powell was first putting together his "coalition of the willing," the Czech News Agency reported that while Czech troops would remain in Kuwait, they would not participate in the war unless chemical weapons were used. The Czech Republic (2), after meeting with Russian diplomats, has reaffirmed its decision and will not support the war without United Nations backing. Next on the list are Eritrea (3) and Ethiopia (4). These two countries engaged in a bitter war in the late 1990s, which resulted in nearly 100,000 deaths and a tenuous peace that is only being enforced by UN peacekeepers -- and any countries whose militaries can be subdued by those wimpy UN peacekeepers probably don't figure too prominently in the neocon worldview. Seven nations on the list may be allies, but the Department of State warns Americans not to visit because they could get killed, kidnapped or blown up. These nations are Uganda (5), Rwanda (6) and Honduras (7), the former Soviet-controlled nations of Georgia (8), Uzbekistan (9) and Macedonia (10), and Colombia (11), that staunch ally in the other critical American war, the one on drugs. In the past three years, 26 Americans have been kidnapped in Colombia. An unsung testament to U.S. diplomacy is the creation of quite possibly the largest ever "coalition of island nations." Somehow the administration managed to overcome whatever resistance was put up by Micronesia (12), the Marshall Islands (13), the Solomon Islands (14), Singapore (15) and Palau (16), which does actually exist. (It is a republic in the Philippine Sea.) Powell also managed to get half of the island of Hispaniola when the Dominican Republic (17) signed on. Apparently residents of the other half of the island -- Haitians, that is -- weren't so impressed with U.S. efforts to bring democracy to their nation. Iceland (18) also is part of the coalition, but because the U.S. forces based at Keflavik constitute Iceland's military, the country had an incentive to come on board. Japan (19) is a coalition member, although the Japanese prime minister said he was "anguished" by his decision to support the United States, and the nation -- like almost all the other members of the coalition -- will not send troops. Does Japan even have a military anyway? Who can really find fault with the stout-hearted nations of Panama (20), Costa Rica (21), El Salvador (22) and Azerbaijan (23)? The same can be asked about Mongolia (24), but because Genghis Khan died almost 800 years ago, let's not count on too much military might from there. A significant portion of the coalition comes from central and eastern European nations: Albania (25), Bulgaria (26), Hungary (27), Poland (28), Romania (29), Slovakia (30), Estonia (31), Latvia (32) and Lithuania (33) all apparently decided it was better to curry favor with America -- in case Russia decides to come after them again -- than to go along with the pusillanimous French and Germans. The only nations besides the United States to provide substantial numbers of troops for the war are Britain (34) and Australia (35), who joined at the last minute. Spain (36), Italy (37), Denmark (38), Portugal (39) and the Netherlands (40) round out the European support, and also provide solace for those Americans who can't locate other continents on a map. One of the questions Americans should feel most entitled to have answered is: What did we promise to these nations in order to secure their willingness? The military protection being given to Kuwait (41), the Philippines (42), Afghanistan (43) and South Korea (44) should guarantee their support. It is true that during wartime, patriotic Americans should never question the motives of the government of the United States (45). (Yes, the United States is included in the count; otherwise, when Ari Fleischer recently bragged about the combined GDP of the coalition, it would have only been $11.6 trillion, instead of $21.7 trillion.) But in the past our government has tried to buy support of "allies" by breaking the law -- remember the Iran-Contra scandal? Which brings us to the last member of the coalition: Nicaragua (46). Cory Oldweiler is a freelance writer living in Michigan. ----- Original Message ----- From: <Russg24@aol.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 11:32 PM Subject: [casi] Need some info Hi, Does someone know how many countries signed on (or were bribed) to back the bush administration on the war? I am writing a song and the number would fit nicely into it. Thanks, Russ Long Island, New York _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk