TurningWheels

Thursday, April 03, 2003
 
... motivated by the desire to diminish American power in the world...

Back to beating that dead horse... here is a great OpEd from U.S. News & World Report:

With friends like this. . .

What Saddam's thugs are doing on the field of battle is what France, under the leadership of President Chirac, did on the field of diplomacy. Any slim chance that Saddam would come clean or quit was lost while the French played their games. When the fog of war has lifted, we will remember how innocent blood came to be shed.

Yes.

Two points he [British PM Tony Blair] made are critical: One, France, by its obstructionist diplomacy, encouraged Saddam to resist U.N. Resolution 1441. Two, the most dangerous thing in the showdown with Iraq's dictator would have been to let him go unpunished. "It is dangerous if such regimes disbelieve us," Blair said. "Dangerous if they think they can use our weakness, our hesitation, even the natural urges of our democracy towards peace, against us. Dangerous because one day they will mistake our innate revulsion against war for permanent incapacity."

Uh huh....

The "serious consequences" language of the resolution was diplospeak for military action. But Chirac undermined both the resolution and the U.N. when he stated that "disarmament must happen peacefully," knowing that disarmament was impossible without either war or the serious threat of it. France seems to be motivated by the desire to diminish American power in the world. Chirac had no obligation to ape U.S. policy. But to sabotage it and the coalition we built around it is indefensible.

Agreed.

Economic interests, as well as jealousy of power, color the picture. According to the International Herald Tribune, French interests have signed with Iraq drilling contracts worth as much as $50 billion. The contracts are so lopsidedly favorable to the French firms that no successor regime to Saddam will be able to respect them.

This is all part and parcel of Saddam's incestuous political and commercial relationship with the defense, business, and political elites of France that will undoubtedly be exposed after the war. As the Weekly Standard reported, Saddam threatened to expose what he saw as France's betrayal in the 1991 Gulf War, saying, "If the trickery continues, we will be forced to unmask them, all of them, before the French public."

I'm sorry, who was the most politically, economically motivated in the diplomatic game these past few months? Sure, the US may have helped Saddam against what was a grave danger to the US in the 80's (remember the Iran hostages anybody??), but that ended long ago. France continued to support Saddam, and when it all comes out, the "masks" will, indeed, come off.

Thank heavens that in George W. Bush we have a president who is determined not to have our national security interests held hostage to U.N. votes controlled by countries like France and Syria. This should not be construed to mean the United States is hostile to the U.N. Indeed, the Bush administration has demonstrated more determination to enforce Security Council resolutions than the Security Council itself. It has long been Security Council policy that the danger of Iraq's possession of chemical, biological, and, one day, nuclear weapons must be removed.

That's precisely what the United States and Britain are doing. The French and others who would pay any price to avoid war may not understand, but it's a simple concept, really. It's called leadership.

Mr. Zuckerman has the words right out of my mouth, and put them down in a way that I couldn't have. I couldn't agree more with this.




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