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March 11, 2003

In the recent past, I have considered myself pro-war, but wanted to try to get as much international support as possible, which basically meant waiting a bit more for inspections. Well, I'm done waiting.Pres. Jacques Chirac of France just dropped a very dumb and revealing statement that, "whatever the circumstances, France will vote 'no'." Before, France said they would support force if sufficient inspections didn't work, but now they've basically revealed the fact that they really feel otherwise and have been lying about their intentions. Plus this comes after more faults on Iraq's side, including finding more unauthorized weapons, and having two Iraqi fighter jets force a couple UN authorized U2 spy planes to abort their missions.An interesting hypothetical rationale behind France's behavior was presented to me a couple days ago, and its veracity seems more and more possible. This is that France has something to hide in Iraq, and if America goes in, they're going to find it. This could be the same situation for Russia, who is known to have economic ties to Iraq. Basically, France's stalling techniques should be ignored and the U.S. should go ahead with what they need to do.

Posted by charr at 1:22 PM
Reader Comments

Oh come now, Cameron. Do you really believe that? I think you've been listening to too much Rush Limbaugh.
I also heard an alternative reason to France's decision. Maybe France isn't blinded by rage and wanting to fix what Daddy couldn't, and sees Iraq, and the Middle East for that matter, for what it is. A hot-bed of religious violence and hatred that won't change in the near future. The Middle East isn't ready for democracy and probably never will be. France knows that we get rid of one dictator to make way for the next one, and maybe the next one is a religious zealot who's mission from God is to destroy the Yankee Infadel. Or maybe that's not realistic. Riiiiggghhhttt.

Posted by jason at March 12, 2003 4:28 PM

Well, note I say hypothetical. I realize it sounds like something Rush would say, but the French are ticking me off and I'm saying that just maybe there's something to it, but just as likely, there may not be. When a big country acts the way France is acting, something's up and I'd give a lot more credit to Bush than to the French.

Posted by Cameron at March 12, 2003 4:41 PM

France has a history of friendship with Iraq. Saddam made his first and only diplomatic visit to a Western country to France, before the Gulf War. They helped Iraq develop their nuclear power plant (which has since been destroyed). They sold Iraq a lot of weapons. They've got a lot of money invested there, lots of economic ties.On the other hand, France knows the people in the Iraqi government better than anyone else. They've been over there many times and have had close diplomatic relations with them. Chirac claims that regime change will happen without war and that there are some competent people in the Iraqi government who be able to lead the country well.So, France is acting in its own interest, which is what countries tend to do, and what the US is doing. I don't believe France is behaving any worse than the US is; at least they're not renaming food in a juvenile attempt to spite us. They've got a plan to solve the problem there just like we do, it's just that the two plans don't work well together and they would really prefer to use theirs. This is no reason to call them names, make silly insults, or invent crazy conspiracy theories.Personally, I waver on the line between supporting and opposing the war. If the international community supported it, I would be for it. But I don't think it's wise to flout our superpower status in a unilateral and largely unprovoked attack. Because we are powerful, others fear us and suspect our motives. Fear breeds hatred, and the last thing we need is more people hating us.

Posted by Levi at March 13, 2003 12:43 AM

By the way, here's a link to France's point of view on the matter, which definitely sheds a different light on things than you get by reading conservative publications here.Embassy of France daily press brief for March 11

Posted by Levi at March 13, 2003 1:06 AM

I'm sure that France has ties to Iraq. If you go back to the '80s you would find that we did too. We sold Iraq (Saddam) weapons during the Iraq/Iran war. We didn't want Iran to win the war and threaten the flow of oil in the Middle-East. So we (CIA) sold and gave weapons to Iraq. My point. Everyone has their finger in someone elses pie. Why do you think Russia is pushing No-War, becuase they think it's morally wrong? B-a-a-a!
Anyone who dangles a bone in front of these Middle-East dictators thinking that they can teach them a new trick, deserves the bitten hand they receive. The hand of U.S. diplomacy is scarred with the reminder of flea bitten dogs who know plenty of tricks.

Posted by jason at March 13, 2003 9:02 AM

I'm just saying, all this silly demonizing and ridiculing of France is annoying to me because we really don't have any high ground from which to point a finger at them. War may be in our interest; it is not in theirs, and thus the conflict. But it, in the spirit of international cooperation and respect for our allies, ought to be resolved instead of ridiculed and ignored.

Posted by Levi at March 13, 2003 9:54 AM

I'm glad we all have our own opionions :). My rationale behind this article was that France's behavior annoys me. When the U.S. was rearing to go before, France was pushing for more inspections, that it wasn't yet time for war, etc. However, they also said that they realized inspections couldn't go on forever and they would support the use of force later. Now however, they have spitefully said they won't support force under any circumstances, even as proof of Iraq's deviant behavior becomes more apparent. This is illogical acting on France's behalf, and seems to imply that their whole point is either to spite the U.S. (which wouldn't be a big surprise) or that some other alterior motive is at hand

Posted by Cameron at March 13, 2003 10:06 AM

If you read their press brief, France is not saying 'no force ever'. They admit that the threat of force is what's making Iraq more compliant lately with the inspection and disarmament process. They have specifically said that they will veto any resolutions for a forceful disarmament in the next four months, which is the time period specified by previous resolutions to which we also agreed. They will also veto anything that provides for an 'automatic' call for force via an ultamatum or other deferred authorization.BTW, the link I posted earlier now points at something different. Here's the archive link.

Posted by Levi at March 13, 2003 10:40 AM

I think we have a question of interpretation here. Chirac is quoted as stating "unequivocally that he would veto any new resolution opening the way to war. Russia, also a veto-wielding permanent member, echoed that view." So whether the resolution says war in 2 days, or a month, France will veto it, according to Chirac. This is pure bullheadishness in my opinion (not that the U.S. is completely innocent in this).

Posted by Cameron at March 13, 2003 12:08 PM

That isn't a Chirac quote, that's a quote of a paraphrase of Chirac. I don't know where you got it from, so I can't interpret it in any sort of context. I'm basing my interpretation off of the French press release I linked to, several articles I read last night from the past few years of both local and international sources, and stuff I've been hearing on Headline News and the like.France is not opposed to backing the current UN resolutions with force, should Iraq utterly fail to cooperate over the course of the next four months. They are opposed to a new resolution that would give authorization for force based upon any sort of ultimatum or other sort of automatic mechanism. This does frustrate US plans, but I don't think it's unreasonable or particularly bullheaded considering the popular opposition to war throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Posted by Levi at March 13, 2003 1:57 PM

I live in the U.S. and being a WW-ll Vet I remember lies by Presidents Past. I don't know anyone who knows why we are bombing Iraq. They just seem to want to kill. Dont need a reason. Killem !! So far George has given about a dozen reasons. Changes em like he does his shirts. Most people now seem to think that the 9/11 folks were Iraqis. I have never seen such a consistent flow of pro war propaganda from the media. It is overwhelming. Goebbels would have been proud. I imagine this is similar to what the Germans were fed by Hitler as a build up to the invasion of Poland.

Posted by Ken Smith at March 21, 2003 5:07 PM

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