Sunday, June 13, 2004

The New Coalition of the Willing

Retired Officials Say Bush Must Go
WASHINGTON — A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November.

The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, will explicitly condemn Bush's foreign policy, according to several of those who signed the document. [...]

It is unusual for so many former high-level military officials and career diplomats to issue such an overtly political message during a presidential campaign. [...]
Why are people acting surprised about this? These former diplomats spent their entire careers promoting the American image overseas. Now they see their lives' work getting flushed down the toilet by Bush. I can't imagine why they would be upset! Reporters and pundits can't really be that stupid, right?
But in the past, administration officials have rejected charges that Bush has isolated America in the world, pointing to countries contributing troops to the coalition in Iraq and the unanimous passage last week of the U.N. resolution authorizing the interim Iraqi government.
This whole "Coalition of the Willing" thing is, and has been, such a joke, but no one in the mainstream media is reporting it. Bush claims the support of 47 nations in this coalition (it was 30 prior to the invasion), but out of those, only 6 have troops on the ground. And outside of the U.K. with 45,000 troops, the contributions are minimal. To wit:

Afghanistan 0
Albania 70
Australia 2000
Azerbaijan 0
Bulgaria 150*
Colombia 0
Costa Rica 0
Czech Rep. 1 NBC* Team
Denmark 1 sub, 1 warship
Dom. Rep. PW#
El Salvador 0
Eritrea 0
Estonia 0
Ethiopia 0
Georgia 0
Honduras 0
Hungary 0
Iceland 0
Italy 0
Japan 0
South Korea 0
Latvia Still deciding
Lithuania 0
Macedonia 0
Micronesia 0^
Netherlands 360
Nicaragua 0
Palau 0+
Philippines PW#
Poland 200@
Portugal 0
Romania 278*
Slovakia 0
Spain 1 medical ship
Solomon Isls. 0
Tonga 0
Turkey 0
Ukraine 500*
UK 45,000
Uzbekistan 0

*Nuclear, Biological, Chemical decontamination experts
#Undisclosed number of troops pledged for post-war deployment
@Non-combat troops
+Between 20 and 200 of Palau's 20,000 citizens reportedly already members of the U.S. military
^Micronesia is, by treaty, wholly dependent on the US for its defense.

It's sad, but it's also typical Bush. He's a cowboy who's all hat and no cattle.

Here's Bush's Secret Recipe (not the bean people):
1) Create something small and insignificant.
2) Give it a grandiose name.
3) Make sure your accomplices get on TV and repeat it as many times as possible.
4) Count on the fact that mainstream media types won't call you onto the carpet for your exaggerations and lies.
5) Rinse and repeat.