Past performance is no guarantee of future results:
Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners. Earlier on Wednesday, he called King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to enlist his support for the plan to step up training of the Syrian rebels.
—Mark Landler, the New York Times, September 10th, 2014.
Really? That’s not how I remember history:
Why does the United States need a coalition?
From the start of its confrontation with Iraq, the Bush administration has tried to create the impression that its drive to topple Saddam has broad international support. Having allies–even some who do little more than lend their names to the war–is apparently meant to undercut widespread criticism that the world’s sole superpower is acting unilaterally.
Who are the coalition members?
According to the Bush administration and press reports, they are: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Palau, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, Uganda, and Uzbekistan. Noticeably absent are major powers–France, for example–that were members of the coalition that overturned Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in 1991.
Are all the members “willing?”
No. Officials in some of the countries have distanced themselves from participating in the war. For example, the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, has sharply criticized the attacks on Iraq, and the government of the Netherlands has assured its citizens that Dutch forces won’t enter combat.
Other countries have not been named publicly but are likely members of the coalition. They include Israel, as well as several Arab states that are providing bases or other assistance to the war: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt.
—“Q&A: What Is the ‘Coalition of the Willing?'”, the New York Times, March 28th 2003.
At the Daily Caller, Betsy Rothstein quips that one of her readers suggested that “Maybe the Times could have looked for some really hard-to-find information, like at – oh, I don’t know – Wikipedia?”
Or simply, the New York Times.
Of course, Timesmen aren’t the only Democrat operatives with bylines making this same “error.”