....LMB: "Coalition of the War-Liking"....

March 21, 2003

I am getting tired of hearing about this "coalition of the willing" of 30+ countries that "supports" the U.S. in its holy crusade against Iraq. And couldn't they think of a better phrase than that? Couldn't they have at least been the "coalition of freedom" or "righteousness" or something?

The White House is claiming that they have 30 nations supporting them, and another 15 that support them but won't go public about it (which is telling in itself, really). By my math that means that 45 countries support the war and 147 countries don't.

And when we take a look at those 30, a grand total of six are actually sending troops: the U.S., UK, Australia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania. And of those six, only the UK, UK and Australia are sending any large numbers of troops. Romania is sending 278. Albania is sending 70. That's not a hell of a lot of support.

So of this coalition of 45 semi-public supporters, it's more or less a coalition of three countries. Gotta love that doublespeak.


Reuters has a few things to say on the subject, more specifically regarding the recent Rumsfeld comment that "The coalition in this activity is larger than the coalition that existed during the Gulf War in 1991."

In 1991 at least 33 countries sent forces to the campaign against Iraq and 16 of those provided combat ground forces, including a large number of Arab countries.

In 2003 the only fighting forces are from the United States, Britain and Australia. Ten other countries are known to have offered small numbers of noncombat forces, mostly either medical teams and specialists in decontamination, making a comparable alliance of about 13 countries.

U.S. officials have named 33 countries which support the U.S. invasion of Iraq but this includes countries which are providing overflight and basing rights and which are giving only diplomatic or political support for the invasion.

President Bush said on Wednesday that 35 countries have chosen to "share the honor" of supporting the campaign but U.S. officials could not name more than the 33.

They say some 15 other countries are cooperating with the U.S. war effort behind the scene, mostly by giving access to bases and airspace, but they do not want to be named.

In 1991 the United States and its allies did not count countries which provided overflight rights or political support because the campaign had the overwhelming support of the U.N. Security Council, which had voted 12-2 for the use of force.

Salon also has an article on the topic, but you have to do that "yes, I will watch your four page advertisement before I can read the article" thing, and I'm currently in no mind to do so, so I can't tell you if the article's any good.


Posted by Jake at 01:03 AM | TrackBack (0)

They always seem to forget to mention that Israel are big supporters too. That might be a bit close to the bone, eh?

Posted by: Zionist at March 21, 2003 01:14 AM

Who are the 30 countries? any idea where i can find out?

Posted by: at March 21, 2003 02:39 AM

I like your site - do you think this coalition will remain in force over the next few weeks/months? Or will it collapse as this "war" continues?

Posted by: Kara at March 21, 2003 04:05 AM

The coalition is a joke. It includes Mauratania, Iceland, Marshall Islands etal. The only real partner is GB. Oh I just read where S. Korea is sending 700 troops. That ought to turn the tide!

Posted by: Tin Soldier at March 21, 2003 02:44 PM

Have we killed more Iraqies than Sadam yet? Can we go home now?

Posted by: Cowboy at May 11, 2004 12:46 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

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