It's demeaning that we have to do this. But since President Bush keeps lying about the size of the coalition in Iraq, we have to. Last night, the president thanked "the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq." To which the Washington Post sighs
But the State Department's most recent weekly report on Iraq said there are 25 countries supplying 11,685 troops -- about 7 percent of the size of the U.S. forces.
It would be funny if it weren't designed to mislead the American people about the way the international community contributes to the American mission in Iraq. But Bush is right that there are more than 25 countries contributing fighters in Iraq -- you know, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Emirate of Blackwater
Seriously, the State Department report
(pdf, page 31) lists the 25, and then ticks the number up to 33 by adding the U.S., Fiji, and "seven Nato countries" that aren't -- aren't
-- a part of Multinational Forces-Iraq: Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey and Slovenia. Yes, you read that right: State says seven but only lists six.
The final three? We've got calls out to the State and Defense Departments, and we'll let you know who our mystery nations are when they tell us.