The Coalition of the Willing

jacdon at earthlink.net jacdon at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 5 12:25:09 MST 2003


The following article appeared in the Feb. 4, 2003, issue of the
Mid-Hudson Activist Newsletter, published by the Mid-Hudson National
People's Campaign/IAC in New Paltz, N.Y., and sent via
jacdon at earthlink.net
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COALITION OF THE WILLING

The Bush administration has often threatened to invade Iraq without
coalition partners,  but the U.S. is applying great pressure to convince
conservative governments and countries over which it maintains hegemony
to join as collaborators in a new war.  Some 60 countries have been
urged to support the White House's Iraqi ambitions, according to press
reports.

So many of Washington's allies and subject nations oppose President
Bush's rush to war with Iraq, however, that the "Partnership of Nations"
-- the entity composed of scores of countries that joined with the U.S.
in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks -- is devolving to a
new, much smaller "Coalition of the Willing."

The White House seems to have discontinued referring to the
"Partnership" last October.  President Bush evidently launched what was
to become the Coalition of the Willing at the Prague NATO meeting Nov.
20 when he announced that if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein does not
disarm to the Bush administration's satisfaction, the U.S. "will lead a
coalition of the willing to disarm him and at that point in time, all
our nations will be able to choose whether or not they want to
participate."

Secretary of State Colin Powell, who effortlessly metamorphosed from the
administration's caged "dove" into a bird of opposite feather in recent
weeks, declared Jan. 23 that "Many nations have already expressed a
willingness to serve in a coalition of the willing."  If there are
"many," it's a good bet that a number of them are indebted to, or
fearful of offending, the United States.  "Coalition of the
Conservatives and the Coerced" is more like it.

So far, only Great Britain is sending a significant military detachment
to join the 150,000 U.S. troops already stationed in the Middle East
awaiting the call to war. But according to administration spokespeople,
up to 20 other countries are said to support the war effort in one way
or another -- from publicly extending political agreement to providing
token material support or allowing the use of air space or bases.  At
least eight of the "Willing" are  U.S. clients regimes in the Middle
East  -- Turkey, Oman and six oil-rich principalities which are
providing bases despite opposition to a war among  their populations.

Neither the final composition of the "Willing," nor the price Washington
is paying to procreate this rump caucus, can be ascertained at this
stage.

Some 10 members of the European Union (EU), led by France and Germany,
have not joined the new coalition. France ("We believe that nothing
today justifies envisaging military action") and Germany ("Iraq has
complied fully with all relevant resolutions") have mounted the
strongest opposition.

Five EU countries -- Britain, along with conservative governments in
Italy, Spain, Portugal and Denmark -- support Bush. East European non-EU
rightist governments in support of the U.S. include Poland, Hungary, the
Czech Republic and Slovakia.

According to Greece (the EU chair last month), even these five pro-U.S.
European Union governments want to give the UN arms inspectors a few
more weeks to finish their work  Bush wants to attack immediately, but
has agreed to delay for a few weeks, partially to ease some of the
popular pressure on his few European backers, including Britain's Tony
Blair.

Majorities of the people in all European countries oppose the war,
including in the five members of the Willing.  In Britain, 84% of the
population opposes a war without a new mandate for the invasion from the
UN (43% oppose a new war under any circumstances).  In Italy, 72.7% are
against a war.  In Spain, it's 80%.  In Denmark, 79% are against a war
without UN backing (57%  oppose the war even with the UN behind it).
Among the East European Bush supporters, 82% of the Hungarian people
oppose a war, as do 67% in the Czech Republic (going up to 76% without a
second UN vote for hostilities).

In France, which not only is playing a leading role in contradicting
U.S. ambitions but which also is a permanent member of the UN Security
Council with veto powers, 73% oppose a U.S.-led war.  In Germany,
perhaps the most outspoken opponent of an attack on Iraq, popular
opposition is 69%.

At this stage, the two other permanent members of the Security Council,
Russia and China, have expressed opposition to a U.S. attack but have
not indicated whether they would use their veto power.

Among the remaining industrialized countries, including the rest of
Europe, several nations in the Western Hemisphere, Japan and South
Korea, only Australia, so far, has agreed to send a military unit -- a
14-aircraft task force.  Israel is a major backer of an assault upon
Baghdad, but remains silent for obvious reasons.  At most, only a few
non-industrialized nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America even
vaguely support Bush's plans for an unprovoked war of aggression against
Iraq.

The Coalition of the Willing is a fraud.  Washington calls all the
shots, with input from its junior partner,  the former colonial overlord
turned vassal.  The rest of the coalition simply serves to diffuse the
blame for what all the world must realize is an unjust and immoral
enterprise that evidently pays well. The real crunch will come if the UN
considers a second resolution but does not extend explicit permission to
the martinet in the White House to ravage Iraq at will.  At that point
it appears the U.S. will assign its minions  to the imperial baggage
wagons for the Modern Crusade to Baghdad for oil, empire, and the
eternal glory of Christendom and its King of Kings, George W. Bush.

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