Iraq Coalition: Eritrea, State no
US citizen could find on a map?
Re-elect George Bush based on
September 7, 2004 - One cannot
help but listen with amusement as the President continuously insists he must be
re-elected, so America can continue to “lead” the world. Such a statement
causes a person to wonder just whom it is George Bush intends to lead? In
order to lead there must be those willing to follow, and of that there are only
but a few and even then without enthusiasm.
Bush speaks proudly of his so
called “Coalition of the Willing” but it was a group that made up less than 15%
of the worlds 193 recognized nations. Last anyone checked it was pretty
hard to lead anything and especially the world, when all you have is the support
of a small minority.
Of the 30 original members of the Willing,
Spain and the Philippines have had all they could take of Bush’s leadership and
they bolted. Neither waited for the door to hit them on the way out, nor
did they bother with the formality of saying “good bye” when they went.
Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Norway and Kazakhstan have either, or are in
the process of withdrawing their troops. So now, Bush’s world
leadership applies to about 12% of known nations.
Of the remaining: Eritrea,
no U.S. citizen could find it on a map, ratified a constitution in 1997, but
never bothered to put it into effect and elections have been put on hold
indefinitely. Albania is almost, so it seems, a democracy? It is
listed by the CIA as an emerging democracy. Uzbekistan doesn’t
even bother to pretend to be a democracy. Their leader often makes Stalin
look like a liberal.
Even two countries that some in
the United States might actually be able to find on a world map -- Britain and
Italy – do not want to be around, much less led by our nation. According
to Pew Research Center, only 48% of British people have a favorable view of the
Untied States, which is down from 83% in 1999. A stunning 34% of Italians
view us favorably and that too has decreased since 1999, when 76% held that
As for maintaining joint security
and diplomatic ties, only 40% of British people believe they should remain
close to the United States and 48% think they should be more independent.
In Italy, 30% think they should have strong security and diplomatic ties to us
and 63% prefer to be more independent.
With results like those found in
Britain and Italy, it doesn’t seem very likely that those two countries will be
following Bush too far for too long. All told, Bush is able to lead about
16% of the world’s democratic nations and 11% of all nations. Not exactly
an overwhelming display of enthusiasm for Bush’s, or our world
leadership. These certainly are not the sort of figures that would lead
one to proclaim him-self leader of the world.
Bush is fond of saying nobody
should speak poorly about the countries he managed to lead into war, because
doing so is disrespectful of those nations. Well, nobody knows for sure
what it will cost U.S. taxpayers for countries like Mongolia, Azerbaijan,
Tonga, Moldova, Macedonia, New Zealand, Latvia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Portugal,
Georgia and the Czech Republic – a full 40% of the coalition members -- to
contribute their symbolic average troop force of 99 people. What is likely
however, is that it will be too much for the token gesture that allows Bush to
claim those nations as being under his leadership.
If Bush thinks the American people need
to re-elect him so we can lead the world, he had better find a world that he can
lead. Maybe that is why he is in such a hurry to get us to Mars?
Somewhere out there in the Universe there may be a world willing to be led by
and follow George W. Bush, but it certainly isn’t this world. Commentary by August Keso, Washington Dispatch.