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Coalition of the reluctant ?

January 24th, 2003

Although Howard is still calling for more time for the UN process to be completed and denying that we have taken a decision to participate in an invasion of Iraq without UN sanction, our masters think differently.

It is their prerogative, if they choose, to be on the sideline,” the White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said of France and Germany. He said President Bush was confident that much of Europe, including Britain and probably Spain, Italy and some Eastern European countries, would “heed the call,” as would Australia.

We all know the score, and Fleischer is almost certainly right, but I thought the US government liked to make some pretence of deferring to the constitutional processes of its client states. The correct form is to give the orders to Howard and then let him announce them to us.

From what I can see, almost all the governments nominated by Fleischer as obeying US orders are still doing their best to keep the hope of some sort of UN sanction alive (even Blair has been careful not to commit himself all the way, despite his recent swing to tough rhetoric). This is a war that no-one outside Washington really wants, particularly given the desperately thin casus belli Bush is currently putting forward.

Update Judging by today’s papers, Howard has got his orders, but has yet to work out a palatable way of passing them on. In the meantime, here’s another take on the coalition of the not unwilling from Andy Borowitz. Link via Tom Spencer

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