Throughout the Iraq War, George W. Bush has made sure to recognize and thank the other nations besides the United States that compose the Multi-National Force, the Coalition of the Willing, or whatever other term the occupying army is called. And yes, even though the United States makes up 90% of this force, it is still seen as a statement of where a nation stands on the war. The Taliban captured South Korean missionaries in Afghanistan in part because the South Koreans have a few soldiers there. Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands, among other European nations, sent in a token 3,200, 1,300, and 1,345 troops, respectively, during the early phases of the war, but completely withdrew them before this year, not because of devastating loss of life or completion of mission, but because of pressure from within to change their nations' stance on the war. Even Iceland's two soldiers have been redeployed.
America understands that even though the war is for all intents and purposes only an American war, it adds legitimacy to mention other nations of the world, especially if the argument for being there is fighting global terror, 'cause fighting global terror helps everybody, y'all. In last night's speech, Bush thanked the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq, because "[t]he success of a free Iraq matters to every civilized nation." Which brings me to my point: if it matters so much, where are all the Muslim nations in our coalition? If this is really about fighting global terror, why hasn't Indonesia contributed to stopping the spread of extremism in Iraq? You'd think with so many Moldovans, Tongans, and Norwegians, at least a couple of Yemeni could slip in there, or a few Qatari to add legitimacy to this global struggle. You won't find a nation with a crescent on it's flag among those willing to stand with the U.S. in Iraq. I can see why Iranians aren't there fighting (well actually, they are, just not with us), but at least some soldiers from hyper-capitalist Dubai ought to join the Multi-National Force. Terrorism is bad for global investments.
I guess what I'm saying is, it doesn't look good when a bunch of Christian nations get together, march to the Holy Land, and impose their will on an Islamic nation. It would have appeared much more solid if one of the following nations had contributed soldiers: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, our new friends Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia, Turkey (especially Turkey), U.A.E. or Yemen. If we could have gotten some ground support from Saudi Arabia or Pakistan (I know, don't laugh), that would have been a coup. But as it is, it just looks like another Crusade, even if it isn't.