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From Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan

US Secretary of State (not to mention once and future war criminal) Colin Powell has released his list of the “Coalition of the Willing,” the nations who have pledged to stand by the US in its “struggle against Saddam.” The “Coalition of the Willing”–or bullied and bought as many now like to say–is impressive. Hope you’re sitting down, because here it comes:

Afghanistan Albania Australia Azerbaijan Bulgaria Colombia Czech Republic Denmark El Salvador Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Georgia Hungary Italy Japan South Korea Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Netherlands Nicaragua The Philippines Poland Romania Slovakia Spain Turkey United Kingdom United States Uzbekistan

Come on, now, catch your breath.

Who needs a UN when you have Azerbaijan and Macedonia in your corner? With Poland and Eritrea for us, who can stand against us?

And the list doesn’t end there. Powell claims that an additional fifteen nations have tacitly given their support to the US attack on Iraq. Why are they not publicly supporting the Bush administration? A fair guess would be that they are concerned that the already volatile populations in their countries might, you know, kill them for going along with this idiotic plan. There’s an old Texas saying (all old sayings seem to be Texan these days): “Don’t publicly ally yourself with the guys who are being burned in effigy by the local mob.”

Bush claims to be protecting the “international community.” Let’s see how much of the world this Coalition actually represents. The total population of all the countries in the Coalition is 1,100,083,030. (Note: I’m using figures from July 2000 estimates. While the populations of these countries certainly have increased since then, it is doubtful that they increased as fast as the world population, given that some countries, like Afghanistan, have suffered increased mortality due to American bombing and suspension of humanitarian aid. In short, this percentage is most likely high.) With a world population of 6,080,671,215, that makes the Coalition (including the United States) representative of a staggering 18.1 percent of the people of this planet. China alone represents a greater chunk of humanity than this coalition.

Of course, not winning the popular vote hasn’t stopped Bush yet.

TOM GORMAN is the president of The Antiwar Coalition at California State University, Los Angeles. He welcomes comments at tgorman222@hotmail.com.