Who has been counting them fall, one by one? Those Coalition of the Willing leaders who rushed to rescue George Bush from his blunder in Iraq have all gone down with the sinking, stinking ship. Today former 'staunch' Bush ally John Howard of Australia bit the dust. Several months ago Tony Blair, the poodle, bowed out altogether.
The original list consisted of these power-house nations: Afghanistan Albania Angola Australia Azerbaijan Bulgaria Colombia Costa Rica Czech Republic Denmark Dominican Republic El Salvador Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Georgia Honduras Hungary Iceland Italy Japan Kuwait Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Marshall Islands Micronesia Mongolia Netherlands Nicaragua Palau Panama Philippines Poland Portugal Romania Rwanda Singapore Slovakia Solomon Islands South Korea Spain Tonga Turkey Uganda Ukraine United Kingdom United States Uzbekistan.
Note the might forces of Tonga, Mongolia, Palau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Azerbaijan, Eritrea and Angola. The Mongols rode their horses there; the Tongans carried spears.
Spain left abruptly after a train bombing in Madrid; so did its president. Then the Spaniards demanded their troops return home; they did. Italy's Berlusconi tried to pull out shortly before elections but the people saw his political maneuvers booted him out for his support of Bush.
Here's an appropriate line from the Guardian on the day that Shock 'n Awe was launched:
"Eritrea is one of the poorest, most war-torn countries in the world. I call the embassy to ask how it intends to show its support of the US and coalition of the willing, of which it is a member? There is a long, stunned pause before the spokeswoman says: "Can you call back tomorrow morning?"
Early withdrawals in 2004 of 'coalition members' were Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, Spain and the Tongan warriors and their spears. In 2005 the following went home: Portugal, The Netherlands and Ukraine. In 2006 Italy, Norway, Japan and Singapore sent their troops home. Lithuania went this year. Poland has been wanting to go home for the past two years but can't cut the cord yet.
Apparently Mongolia, Palau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Azerbaijan, Eritrea and Angola are still doing a good job and their presence is critically needed. So are the Macedonians, the Kuwaitis and the Rwandans. It's good to know that the naive governor still has friends in high places.