Spotlight on the Coalition
This press conference on the Coalition for Immediate Disarmament of Iraq
is a must read.
Question: Well, in the list -- excuse me. But there's a footnote next to Japan specifying that their cooperation or support is postwar.
Mr. Boucher: I think this has got to be the list, the way I just discussed it, but --
Question: No, no, no. I hear you, but --
Mr. Boucher: Yes.
Question: -- what we -- I understand that Japan is postwar.
Mr. Boucher: Yes.
Question: Let me put it that way. Are there others among the 30 who are simply part of a postwar reconstruction effort?
Mr. Boucher: Many of these people are associated somehow militarily with the action. I think most, almost all is probably a better description. Some of them, like Japan, are probably exclusively interested in the post-conflict situation and helping out if we get to that, but I think most of these others, if you look at what they, themselves, have said, are in some ways willing or participating in, or supporting potential conflict, if that's where it ends up.
Ok, so some of the 30 are not contributing to the war in any way. They offer moral support, but not actual support. Also, when it's over, they want some of the spoils
Question: And two, I know you don't want to get into specifics of what each country would offer, but at least two countries on this list kind of jump out at me in terms of their abilities to do anything, and that would be Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
I understand that Afghanistan might be overflight rights, but what kind of thing would -- and not to denigrate the Ethiopians, but what kind of thing would you --
Question: -- Eritrea -- what kind of things are these countries which, you know, do not have great amounts of resources and are not really --
Mr. Boucher: They may not be deploying. They may not be providing a specific resource, or they may just be allowing access, overflight, or other participation in that way, or they may just have decided they want to be publicly associated with the effort to disarm Iraq. Remember, that is the fundamental of this, that these are countries who have all stood up and said it is time to disarm Iraq, and if Iraq doesn't do that peacefully, we need to be prepared to do it by whatever means are necessary -- people that are associating themselves in public with the effort to make sure that Iraq is disarmed and disarmed soon.
When you need to pad your list with Eritrea then you don't have a coalition. But the best question is:
Question: Did -- I assume that you asked everybody in the world whether they were willing to go on this list, and therefore you had 160 rejections, were there?
Boucher says no. He's probably right, the number is probably like 120 rejections, after all we already knew what France, Russia, etc. would say.