In rebuking Kerry for his comment on the coalition being bribed and coerced, Cheney offered a commendable list of 35 countries. Although the current
list is shown at 30, I can safely presume that Israel is the 31st, with Saudi Arabia probably the 32nd. The other three are a mystery while rumour has
it one of them is Canada. The general public though seems to have short memories in that the Bush administration was almost bragging of a published
list of 49 with many more wishing to remain unnamed back in March of 2003. On October 22, 2002, just 5 months before the invasion, Gen. Tommy Franks
gave a marquee style banner on the first of his Coalition Bulletins proudly announcing that for the Afghanistan war there were:
Seventy Countries- Common Values- One Mission. www.centcom.mil...
with 43 contributing
military contingents plus a U.N representation of 21 additional countries. 70 countries including the likes of Russia is a true representative of the
willing. But Cheney dared not part with that fact last night, instead he dug into his history books to pull out an alliance from 12 years before to
soften the blow.
I believe that only a deluded bunch would look at a diminished and list of supporters as an accomplishment. In fact, the participants flew the coop
at a rate of almost one a month since the March into Baghdad, and that, as we know, was the easiest part of the battle. This original 49 included the
likes of Eritrea, Palau, Tonga, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and more infamous democracies like Colombia. Those have subsequently all dropped off,
whether they do not wish to bask in the glory or dropped by an embarrassed administration.
These were the coalition allies in GW1:
Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Honduras,
Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea,
Spain, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
According to an October 4th Global Security report, non-US members now are www.globalsecurity.org...
Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria,
Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia,
South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Slovakia, Thailand,
United Kingdom, and Ukraine.
Excluding Japan and South Korea, what political clout, military or monetary weight can these new countries (highlighted) carry? These are countries
are the most part floundering to survive, contending with any or massive debt; high unemployment; extreme poverty; aids; human rights violations and
rampant corruption. Other than the fact they may bolster the desire for something better, the majority of these countries have been in dire straights
for decades and none of them are receiving $130 billion in reconstruction aid.
So is Kerry correct, are they the coalition of the coerced and the bribed? I am sure the budget documents may hold a clue or two.