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March 20, 2003

So dry you could light a match from it: The New York Times slips in one of those paragraphs that most readers will glide past, while attentive readers go oof:
Late today, the administration released a list of 43 nations it said were willing to be identified publicly as coalition members. Many of them had little to offer the war effort but moral support. While the list included Afghanistan, Eritrea, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Rwanda and Uganda, only Britain and Australia have contributed sizable forces.
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Comments on So dry you could light a match from it::

Gary Farber ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2003, 11:34 PM:

I blogged on this earlier this evening with an observation about an amazingly bullshit statement about this I heard when spending two minutes glancing at how Fox (more or less a sponsor of the war, after all) was covering the war.

In a point of utter trivia, the list is actually 44 "nations," such as they are, plus the US. It's awfully reassuring that Palau's might stands with us. In fact, much of the South Pacific seems to be with us. Has Pitcairn Island been heard from?

Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2003, 11:36 PM:

Well, I suppose Micronesia is kind of like a largish flotilla.

A flotilla permanently anchored to the sea floor, but still...

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 01:26 AM:

This afternoon, I heard some administration flack playing up the might of the "coalition of the willing," reciting the combined population and GNP of its members.

It was embarassing: resonant of Soviet newsreaders rattling off coal production figures and numbers of engineering students.

Who is this crap supposed to fool?

bryan ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 05:08 AM:

I especially appreciate afghanistan, a nation that currently is nearly the same as an American colony. The U.S conquered them, and now they're on the American side - this of course demonstrates how well they've been rehabilitated.

Charles Dodgson ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 07:34 AM:

What kills me, even more than the dubious support that Dubya's crew has obtained from powers like Rwanda and Eritrea, is that they're listing Turkey as a "member of the coalition", even though Turkey is in a position to offer real support and has so far declined to do so. They're refusing to allow in ground troops, or allow use of their air bases; the most they have promised is to allow American planes to fly overhead. But as I write, they haven't actually allowed that yet, and are trying to make it conditional on the US allowing their troops into northern Iraq, where the Kurds have a well-founded fear of Turkish atrocities.

You know who else is allowing overflights, and without any restriction? France.

This sticks out so much that even the Moonie Times has noticed...

Ken ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 08:33 AM:

And let's not forget Vanuatu!

Jordin Kare ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 12:25 PM:

When I heard Colin Powell say that there were 15 nations that were offering support but preferred not to be identified, I realized that the U.S. Government has been reduced to claiming that "the lurkers support us in email."

aphrael ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 02:03 PM:

Jordin - The claim that there are nations which support the idea of the US overthrowing Iraq but are unwilling to say so for domestic political reasons is perfectly plausible; it applies, at first blush, to most of the Arab governments.

What really outraged me about that list was the inclusion of Afghanistan. Afghanistan, a weak government which is unable to control anything outside of the capital without the assistance of local thugs who are kept from fighting over it by the presence of US forces. Is Afghanistan really in a position to show any independance of thought on foreign policy issues?

There's something deeply shameful about bragging that we have the support of a client government that would collapse in hours if our troops pulled out of its country.

Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 06:09 PM:

Dammit, Jordin, I had that exact same thought! And you had to go and publish first.