The Patriotís Shopping Guide
As a public service, this weekís column is designed to help those readers who might like to spend their hard-earned dollars on products produced by those nations who joined in the coalition to topple the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein and to liberate the people of Iraq.
Forty-six countries made public commitments to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. Plus, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and even Turkey gave various degrees of overt and covert support.
A mere listing of the 46 public members of the Coalition would make for some pretty dry reading. So, to make the list more interesting, they are listed in conjunction with a product or products for which they are known. At the end of this column, weíll follow the money trail leading to some folks who ended up on the wrong side of history and, hopefully, will end up on the wrong side of some sets of steel bars.
Wine: Our wine-producing friends are: Australia Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and, of course, wines from American vineyards. Italy, Portugal and Spain were especially supportive and deserve special consideration.
Beer: Our beer producing friends are: Australia, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Panama, the Philippines, South Korea and, of course, the United Kingdom. Australia, Denmark and the UK deserve extra consideration. Vodka: Polish and American brands should be favored.
Aircraft: Letís urge U.S. air carriers to buy aircraft from Boeing, McDonald-Douglas and other U.S. manufacturers and British Aerospace.
Coffee: Our coffee-producing friends are: Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua.
Other products. If you need products from these countries, they stood with us as well:Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iceland, Kuwait, Lithuania, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Palau, Rwanda, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Uganda and Uzbekistan.
As promised, here are some countries that wouldnít lift a finger to help us: Belgium, Canada, Chile, Greece, Red China, France, Germany, Mexico, Turkey and Russia. The products from Canada, Red China and Mexico are too numerous to list, so just check labels before buying.
Other than vodka and criminals, the Russians really donít export much of anything. Polish vodka is better anyway. We no longer buy French, German or Chilean wine, and no more Belgian or German beer.
Hereís a partial list of French-owned products and services to avoid: Airbus Aircraft, Accor Travel Services, Bic pens lighters and razors, Chanel perfume, cheeses from France, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix leather goods, Daniel Cremieux menís clothing, Drakkar Noir cologne, Evian water, Fina and Total gasoline, French Champagne, Gray Goose Vodka, Givenchy perfume, Loreal make-up; Renault, Peugeot and Nissan automobiles, Patrick Shoes, Paul Sabastian perfumes, Pernod Ricard, Seagrams Spirits, Perrier water, Socata Aircraft, Societe General, Sitram cookware, Sparkletts water, Vivendi-Seagram autovisual products, Rossignol and Solomon skis, bindings and boots, Yoplait Yogurt and Yves Rocker cosmetics.
From Germany, letís avoid: Adidas shoes, Audi automobiles, AGFA film products Baekekerís Travel Guides, Bertelsman-Random House Books, Deutsche Bank, Henckels Knives, Beckís Bier, Birkenstock shoes, BMW, Continental Tires, H&K firearms, Jacobís Coffee, Linser Filtration products, Mannesman Rexroth/Bosch products, Mercedes, Mil-Tec Sturm outdoor clothing, St. Pauli Girl and Wahrsteiner Bier, Lufthansa, Miele coffee filters, Porsche, Siemens products, Sigarms, T-Mobile phones, Volkswagens, Walther Firearms and Wusthof Knives.
Speaking of money, experienced detectives say the way to find the villains is to follow the money trail. Each day, our troops uncover some amazing documentary evidence. Look for a member of the British Parliament to be jailed. He led the opposition to Tony Blairís Iraqi liberation policy. Turns out Saddam paid him millions of English Pounds to do so. One of Saddamís wealthy supporters has been paying former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritterís anti-war speaking-tour expenses.
UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has been using the Oil for Food program as his and the UNís private cash cow. The UN was Saddamís biggest business partner. No wonder Bush and Blair met such obstructionism from Kofi Annan and Hans Blix. Stay tuned.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today. is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy Ė novels about terrorist attacks on Coloradoís water supply and on the Panama Canal, respectively.
©2003. William Hamilton