Moroccan Monkeys and the “Coalition of the Willing”
"With major allies such as France, Germany, China, and Russia sitting out this gulf war, many Americans are asking what constitutes what the administration cheerfully has dubbed the "Coalition of the Willing" and what exactly are they willing to do?
In the past President Bush has spoken in general about the "ever-growing coalition.'' He has said, "We are grateful for their determination, we appreciate their vision, and we welcome their support."
...Miffed that many are complaining this White House has not put together a coalition as robust as the one former President Bush organized in 1991 to oust Iraqi forces from Kuwait, administration officials say they are privately getting moral support even if it is not public.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday at a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill, "We have a lot of our traditional allies with us," and named Italy, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain. Many of the others are small countries, which, admittedly, he said, "can't make a major military contribution. But they made a political contribution of enormous consequences" when they said they would stand with the United States.
Bristling, Mr. Powell said there is a "willing coalition of 47 nations'' ready to be counted. Others, he said, can't say it out loud yet, but they will when it's safe. It wasn't clear yesterday which country Mr. Bush was including when he said there are 48 nations and which country Mr. Powell was not including.
Many countries on the list do not even have a military, concede White House aides, but they are nonetheless willing supporters. Such countries include Iceland, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, Costa Rica, and Palau, a tiny, unarmed paradise in the Pacific Ocean north of Australia.
But many countries claim to be doing more. United Press International reported from Morocco that a newspaper there said Morocco offered to send to Iraq 2,000 monkeys said to be trained in detonating land mines."