Saturday, March 29, 2003

MISSPELLING THE COALITION OF THE WILLING

AL KAMEN, WASH POST - This just in from Ljubljana! Hundreds of Slovenians hit the streets Wednesday to protest their country's inclusion in President Bush's $75 billion Iraq war budget as a partner in the war against Iraq. The White House asked for $4.5 million for Slovenia as part of the grants to members of the vast "coalition of the willing." Small problem: The lovely Alpine nation isn't a member. "When we asked for an explanation, the State Department told us we were named in the document by mistake," Prime Minister Anton Rop said at what Reuters called "a hastily arranged news conference." This of course would not be the first time someone confused Slovenia and Slovakia, which is a willing member of the coalition of the willing. Bush, asked during the presidential campaign about Slovakia, said, "The only thing I know about Slovakia is what I learned firsthand from your foreign minister, who came to Texas. I had a great meeting with him. It's an exciting country. It's a country that's doing very well." Turns out it was the prime minister of Slovenia. Rop said yesterday, "We are a part of no such coalition. We are a part of a coalition for peace." Not so fast, Anton. The prime minister is quite mistaken if he thinks he can get out of the coalition so easily. After all, the Solomon Islands wanted out but continue to be listed as a member. And Angola (isn't it run by the commies Washington spent decades trying to defeat?) was in, then briefly out, but then back in again.

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