I’m listening to Ari Fleischer’s briefing, and he just reeled off a bunch of stats that are supposed to impress us about the “coalition of the willing”:
- more than 35 countries
- more than 1 billion people
- every race, religion, ethnicity
Here’s the problem in citing those stats: Of the 35 countries, only two – ONLY TWO – have a simple majority of the public who support the U.S.‘s action in Iraq. Turkey, now a member of the coalition (allowing us overflight rights), has just 10% of its population supporting the war. Many countries are currently trending at 70-80% against the war. So of the 1 billion people represented by these 35 countries, it’s safe to assume that fewer than 200 million are in favor of what’s currently going on. (Even if that number were higher, the point remains – a majority of the people in this so-called “coalition of the willing” are vehemently against what their governments are doing.)
I’ve never been under the illusion that Ari Fleischer and the truth are close friends, but don’t you think on Day 1 of the war we could spare the obfuscation and stop making it seem like this is something for which a groundswell exists?