Henrik Stromberg on the Coalition of the Willing

In March 2004, Perspectives on World History and Current Events received a rebuttal of our Coalition of the Willing page on our Guestbook. Parts of the original message were truncated, so we contacted the author, (Henrik Stromberg), who provided the following response.

Significant changes were made to the maps and other information on the Coalition page as a consequence of a careful reading of Mr Stromberg's sources.

As always, PWHCE welcomes input. Where possible, please either post to our Yahoo! Group or e-mail us at

Trevor Stanley,
Editor, Perspectives on World History and Current Events.


First post from Henrik:

In your map of the coalition of the willing, you forgot to show that Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Belarus, Croatia, Serbia, Luxembourg, The Vatican, and Liechtenstein opposed the war. After the elections in Spain that country has to turn from blue to red [truncated] - Henrik Stromberg.

Guestbook reply:
Thanks for the comment Henrik. Switzerland is constitutionally neutral. Sweden's position was ambiguous. Norway is now part of the Coalition. Croatia signed the Vilnius statement supporting the war. Thanks again for your message. - Trevor Stanley.

An e-mail from Henrik:

Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 17:18:39 +0100 (MET)
From: "Henrik Stromberg"
To: "Trevor Stanley"
Subject: Re: Your post on the PWHCE guestbook

Hi Trevor,
I am sorry that you could not read all of what I sent you.

Here are some sources:
The EU's traditional leadership axis, France and Germany, has headed the anti-war camp, which includes to varying degrees Sweden, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg and Greece.

On Wednesday, diplomats said France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg had blocked a decision to order planners to start work on options submitted by the United States.
Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik told parliament that Norway cannot support the war in Iraq. We are not neutral. We do not support the war because the UN Security Council did not [authorise it].

Sure Switzerland is neutral, that means they cannot participate in the war and fight with Hussein's troops. No country did that. However, many countries condemned the war, including Switzerland. Switzerland condemned the US threat to take military action without UN approval.

Pope John Paul II on Monday expressed his strongest opposition yet to a potential war in Iraq, describing it as a "defeat for humanity" and urging world leaders to try to resolve disputes with Iraq through diplomatic means.
"We can't impose the law of the jungle." Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran Vatican Foreign Minister

'Avoid war' in Iraq, EU urges U.S.

EU on Iraq
The document declared: "War is not inevitable. Force should be used only as a last resort".

The Vilnius statement did not support the war. It was written before the UN resolution to justify the war failed. Several countries that signed the statement criticized that the war started without UN support.

Croatia's President Stipe Mesic said Thursday that Zagreb cannot accept "marginalization" of the United Nations over Iraq, warning that the US-led military intervention against Baghdad could turn into a "nightmare."

The Slovenian government regrets the beginning of the war in Iraq, as it has been advocating a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis through the UN Security Council, Prime Minister Anton Rop told the press.

The Taoiseach has told the Dail that Ireland is not in the "coalition of the willing" supporting the war in Iraq. Bertie Ahern said: "We are not a part of the 'coalition of the willing'".

Africans back France on Iraq
The leaders, in Paris for the 22nd Franco-African summit, released a statement on Thursday saying they supported continued inspections and reiterated Africa's confidence in chief U.N. weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei. Three members of the U.N. Security Council -- Guinea, Angola and Cameroon -- were among the 52 countries whose representatives signed the declaration.

Arab League Rejects Military Strike Against Iraq

Belarus Denounces Iraqi Aggression: Lukashenko
Belarus unanimously denounces US aggression in Iraq, said President Alexander Lukashenko as he was addressing the nation on Khatyn mourning day.
Leader says Belarus wary of U.S. attack
Lukashenko, once called Europe's last dictator by U.S. officials, has criticized the invasion of Iraq, saying it had created a precedent whereby undesirable leaders could be unseated with military force.

China opposes second resolution on Iraq
China sees no need for an additional United Nations resolution on Iraq and believes weapons inspections should continue under a current resolution to avert war, its foreign minister said Thursday.

Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera are part of Spain and need to be red, not blue in the map of the coalition of the willing.
[Note: this was the result of an editing error when updating the maps. This error has since been rectified.]

PWHCE thanks Mr Stromberg for his research.

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