The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [casi] Need some info

Dear Russ,

Maybe this could be a hint.



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

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

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: <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 11:32 PM
Subject: [casi] Need some info


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
nicely into it.

Long Island, New York

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]