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3/20/03 - THE COALITION OF THE WILLING - 2003-03-21

Nearly three dozen countries have joined the United States in its effort to end the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. The coalition includes countries from every continent. From Africa: Eritrea and Ethiopia and Rwanda. From Europe and Eurasia: Albania, Azerbaijan, Britain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. From the Western Hemisphere: Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Singapore are also members of the coalition. More than a dozen other nations will provide access, basing, and over-flights or defensive assets if Saddam Hussein resorts to using weapons of mass destruction. The coalition has two main goals. The first is to disarm the regime of Saddam Hussein of its chemical and biological weapons. The second is to bring freedom to the Iraqi people. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, "Our presence in Iraq. . . .will be temporary, but our commitment to support the people of Iraq will be for the long term. The Iraqi people deserve to be lifted from tyranny and must be allowed to determine the future of their country for themselves."

President George W. Bush has said that the security of the world requires disarming and removing Saddam Hussein.

"The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat. But we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed.”

The U.S. and the coalition of the willing, as President Bush said, “accept that responsibility.”