France's destructive diplomacy

  1. Good article out of Charleston.

    France's destructive diplomacy

    French diplomacy, if that word can be used for the spoiling tactics that French President Jacques Chirac and Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin employed to wreck the consensus reached by the U.N. Security Council in November, has made Baghdad euphoric. But, ironically, France's betrayal of the unanimous Resolution 1441 ordering Iraq to disarm or face "serious consequences" makes war more, not less, likely and brings the day of reckoning closer for Saddam Hussein.
    By pronouncing France's intent to veto any new resolution that would set a deadline for Saddam to give up his weapons of mass destruction, President Chirac has won only a Pyrrhic diplomatic victory. He may not regret tearing asunder the Atlantic alliance, an objective of French diplomacy since de Gaulle, but he will surely rue the day that he allowed the malevolently eloquent Mr. de Villepin to stoke Francophobic American anger and arouse British antagonism while at the same undermining the United Nations' ability to handle a security crisis with global implications.

    Both President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair let it be known yesterday that they have serious doubts about continuing to press for a new resolution to enforce Resolution 1441. Passage requires nine votes and no veto.

    President Bush decided to "go an extra mile" with diplomacy to demonstrate that he was not hellbent on war and that he was open to a compromise that would bring the Security Council together again to achieve Iraq's disarmament. Prime Minister Blair sought the backing of the Security Council to convince a doubting British public that he was not, as critics taunted him, merely playing the role of a lackey to the United States.

    France's rejection of Britain's compromise resolution came, as White House press secretary Ari Fleischer observed, "before Iraq rejected it." Mr. Fleischer asked, "If that isn't an unreasonable veto, what is?" The consequences were rapidly apparent yesterday as the Security Council began to look more and more like an irrelevant debating society.

    The United States and Britain, along with a coalition named yesterday by Secretary of State Colin Powell as including Australia, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Japan and eight eastern European countries, will not only be enforcing Resolution 1441, but 16 other resolutions that Iraq has failed to comply with over the past 12 years. Those resolutions, as well as the obligations that Saddam agreed to under the terms of his surrender, provide for the enforcement of disarmament under international law.

    It was not legally necessary to seek an 18th resolution to take military action against a defiant Saddam, but it would have strengthened the feeble authority of the United Nations by emphasizing the unity and the resolve of the Security Council. France has purposely sabotaged a noble endeavor to disarm a dangerous tyrant through unanimous U.N. action. French prestige has been harmed, not enhanced, by its destructive diplomacy.
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  2. 52 Comments

  3. by   Glad2behere
    Amen rncountry, Amen.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    I saw a tee shirt that said:
    "FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS START WARS"
    How is it the fault of France it the USA starts a war?

    I went to mass today and my Amen came at the end of a prayer for peace.
    Am I wrong to want what angeks sang at Jesus' birth?
    PEACE ON EARTH
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    From the March 14, 2003 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0314/p02s01-woiq.html

    The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq

    American attitudes about a connection have changed, firming up the case for war.

    By Linda Feldmann | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

    WASHINGTON - In his prime-time press conference last week, which focused almost solely on Iraq, President Bush mentioned Sept.
    11 eight times. He referred to Saddam Hussein many more times than that, often in the same breath with Sept. 11.

    Bush never pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president. Still, the overall effect was to reinforce an impression that
    persists among much of the American public: that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks. A New York Times/CBS poll
    this week shows that 45 percent of Americans believe Mr. Hussein was "personally involved" in Sept. 11, about the same figure as a
    month ago.

    Sources knowledgeable about US intelligence say there is no evidence that Hussein played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks, nor that he
    has been or is currently aiding Al Qaeda. Yet the White House appears to be encouraging this false impression, as it seeks to
    maintain American support for a possible war against Iraq and demonstrate seriousness of purpose to Hussein's regime.

    "The administration has succeeded in creating a sense that there is some connection [between Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein]," says
    Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.

    The numbers

    Polling data show that right after Sept. 11, 2001, when Americans were asked open-ended questions about who was behind the
    attacks, only 3 percent mentioned Iraq or Hussein. But by January of this year, attitudes had been transformed. In a Knight Ridder poll,
    44 percent of Americans reported that either "most" or "some" of the Sept. 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. The answer is zero.

    According to Mr. Kull of PIPA, there is a strong correlation between those who see the Sept. 11-Iraq connection and those who support
    going to war.

    In Selma, Ala., firefighter Thomas Wilson supports going to war with Iraq, and brings up Sept. 11 himself, saying we don't know who's
    already here in the US waiting to attack. When asked what that has to do with Iraq, he replies: "They're all in it together - all of them
    hate this country." The reason: "prosperity."

    Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden himself recently encouraged the perception of a link, when he encouraged attacks on the US in
    response to a US war against Iraq. But, terror experts note, common animosity toward the United States does not make Hussein and
    Mr. bin Laden allies.

    Hussein, a secularist, and bin Laden, a Muslim fundamentalist, are known to despise each other. Bin Laden's stated sympathies are
    always toward the Iraqi people, not the regime.

    This is not to say that Hussein has no link to terrorists. Over the years, terrorist leader Abu Nidal - who died in Baghdad last year -
    used Iraq as a sometime base. Terrorism experts also don't rule out that some Al Qaeda fighters have slipped into Iraqi territory.

    The point, says Eric Larson, a senior policy analyst at RAND who specializes in public opinion and war, is that the US public
    understands what Hussein is all about - which includes his invasion of two countries and the use of biological and chemical agents.
    "He's expressed interest - and done more than that - in trying to develop a nuclear capability," says Mr. Larson. "In general, the public
    is rattled about this.... There's a jumble of attitudes in many Americans' minds, which fit together as a mosaic that [creates] a basic
    predisposition for military action against Saddam."

    Future fallout

    In the end, will it matter if some Americans have meshed together Sept. 11 and Iraq? If the US and its allies go to war against Iraq, and
    it goes well, then the Bush administration is likely not to face questions about the way it sold the war. But if war and its aftermath go
    badly, then the administration could be under fire.

    "Going to war with improper public understanding is risky," says Richard Parker, a former US ambassador to several Mideast
    countries. "If it's a failure, and we get bogged down, this is one of the accusations that [Bush] will have to face when it's all over."

    Antiwar activist Daniel Ellsberg says it's important to understand why public opinion appears to be playing out differently in the US and
    Europe. In fact, both peoples express a desire to work through the UN. But the citizens get different messages from their leaders.
    "Americans have been told by their president [that Hussein is] a threat to security, and so they believe that," says Mr. Ellsberg. "It's
    rather amazing, in light of that, that so many Americans do want this to be authorized by the UN. After all, the president keeps saying
    we don't have to ask the UN for permission to defend ourselves."

    * Staff writers Liz Marlantes and Faye Bowers contributed to this report.

    Full HTML version of this story which may include photos, graphics, and related links



    www.csmonitor.com | Copyright 2003 The Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Do the British and Soanish people want this war?
    Why do we?
    Why now?
    I would guess that most of us want peace. Why do we think there is no other way?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2852481.stm
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/antiwar/st...915427,00.html

    Global outcry against war
    Anti-war protesters have held rallies in a number of countries, as American-led military action against Iraq seems all but certain.

    American demonstrations were held in Washington DC and several other cities, just a day before an emergency summit between President
    George W Bush and his main allies, the British and Spanish leaders.

    In Germany, 100,000 people with candles formed a 35km (22-mile) long "chain of light" in Berlin on Saturday evening.

    And Italian organisers said 400,000 people attended an anti-war rally in Milan, but other protests in Europe were on a smaller scale than last
    month's huge demonstrations.

    Earlier in the day, rallies were held across Asia, including Thailand, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.

    In Washington DC, an estimated 20,000 marchers set off from the Washington Monument.

    "President Bush, listen to your people, the American people before you today who say 'No war in Iraq'," student Peta Lindsay told the crowd.

    The scale of the protest was much smaller than January's rally, which saw 100,000 people gather outside the White House, the largest
    demonstration seen in the city since the days of the Vietnam war.

    Many protesters said they believed this weekend could be the final opportunity for diplomacy - and for protesters to make their voices heard.

    "It's absolutely critical, maybe the most critical moment to prevent the war," Chuck Kauffman, one of the protest organisers, told the French
    news agency AFP.

    Protests were also held in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    A small pro-war demonstration was held in Washington, with others planned for Atlanta, Georgia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    Resigned to war

    In the UK, the Stop the War coalition held protests in London and other cities, including Leeds and Newcastle, in "solidarity" with US
    marchers.

    Muslim groups also marched through central London calling on Islamic nations not to support a US-led war.

    Rallies were also held in Russia, but turnout was low. The BBC's Nikolai Gorshkov says many Russians are resigned to an inevitable US attack
    and the passers-by he met seemed more preoccupied with their own day-to-day problems.

    Anti-war and anti-US rhetoric was fiery in the Egyptian capital, where around 300 demonstrators gathered at Cairo University, outnumbered
    by heavily armed riot police.

    But many students refused to join the protests, saying that, while they rejected US polices and opposed war with Iraq, they were also fed
    up with demonstrating when neither the US nor their own government listened to them.

    Peace vigils

    Hours earlier, more than 3,000 demonstrators in Christ Church, New Zealand, marched to the city's central square, chanting "Give Peace a
    Chance", with another 1,000 turning out in the city of Dunedin.

    Thousands of Australians attended protests in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, holding peace picnics and education sessions.

    Thailand saw more than 3,000 people stage a protest outside the United Nations building in the capital, Bangkok, shouting anti-war chants
    and holding banners with slogans such as "No Bush oil" and "UN stand up to the US".

    And around 10,000 people marched through a central shopping district in Tokyo, Japan, protesting against the government's support for
    US-led action in Iraq.

    On Sunday, peace vigils are planned in more than more than 2,800 cities in about 100 countries, the Associated Press news agency
    reported.
    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...st/2852481.stm

    Published: 2003/03/16 03:11:28
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Anti-war protests held around
    the world

    Staff and agencies
    Sunday March 16, 2003

    Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the streets in cities
    around the world at the weekend in what could the last protests
    before the start of war in Iraq.

    About 2,000 people demonstrated today outside a small US
    navy base in Crete against a possible American-led invasion of
    Iraq. The military base in Souda Bay supports US navy and air
    force spy planes, and could play an important role in an attack
    on Iraq.

    Hundreds of protesters also gathered at a Nato base in the
    northern town of Tirnavo and at an air base in the northwestern
    town of Akteon.

    In Australia and New Zealand, families picnicked under
    anti-war banners and held vigils at tourist centres. Surfers off
    Sydney's beaches paddled out to form a giant peace sign in the
    water, while a small but noisy group of protesters picketed John
    Howard, the Australian prime minister as he left his home in
    Sydney and later at a political campaign function.

    Hundreds of thousands of Australians have come out in recent
    weeks in opposition to their government's unstinting support for
    the US and its determination to get rid of Saddam Hussein, the
    Iraqi president. In neighbouring Indonesia, peace activists held
    a small candlelight vigil, the latest in a series of anti-war
    demonstrations in the world's most populous Muslim nation. In
    the capital, Jakarta, around 100 people - among them several
    expatriates and many women - protested at the city's main
    roundabout. Carrying banners reading "No blood for oil" and "No
    blood for imperialism", the protesters lit candles and said
    prayers for peace before disbanding.

    In Britain a group of peace protesters set up camp outside a
    military depot and said that they would try to stop bombs being
    delivered to US war planes destined for Iraq.

    Police said that about 20 protesters had arrived overnight at the
    Welford depot, 50 miles west of London. A Thames Valley
    Police spokesman said that about a dozen officers were on the
    scene but that the demonstrators had not disrupted activities at
    the base.

    Munitions from the underground depot are destined for the RAF
    base at Fairford in Gloucestershire, where 14 long-range B-52
    bombers have been stationed for possible attacks on Iraq.

    "We want to do anything in our powers to stop this bloody
    massacre that is about to happen," said protester Kate
    Holcomb. Fairford has become a focus of opposition to a US-led
    war on Iraq. On Friday police charged two anti-war protesters
    who allegedly damaged support vehicles after breaking into the
    base. Police arrested 19 protesters last weekend after a
    perimeter fence allegedly was cut. Nine people were charged
    with aggravated trespass.

    Some protests were held close to symbols of US power: the
    White House, the US air base in Frankfurt, and US embassies
    in Greece and Cyprus.

    Yesterday, more than 10,000 Argentinians marched peacefully
    to the US embassy in Buenos Aires, waving flags and signs
    advocating "Peace" and demanding "No War".

    Several hundred people attended a music and cultural festival
    against war in Mexico City's main square, and hundreds of
    activists protested in Guatemala and El Salvador.

    Similar sentiments were expressed in Spain, where hundreds of
    thousands marched in dozens of cities, including Moron de la
    Frontera, a military base used by the US air force in its war
    preparations. The Spanish government has supported
    Washington's moves toward war.

    Many demonstrations were organised by lefwing parties, peace
    groups and unions. But Bill Morris, the general secretary of the
    Transport and General Workers union, ruled out official strike
    action by his members in protest against the war.

    He told GMTV's The Sunday Programme: "My union won't be
    articulating any industrial action ... I will not support industrial
    action against this war but I will respect the views of those who
    make a protest."
  7. by   rncountry
    Spacenurse, I would have to be both deaf and blind to miss the antiwar marches, the second article you posted does nothing for me. Have read similar articles so much that it makes my head hurt. The point I was trying to make that you missed is this. The French could have won and won big had they been willing to go with a deadline, but they instead insisted THAT ANY resolution with a deadline would be vetoed. They would have held up any invasion of Iraq AND forced SH to really show his hand. But as long as there was a deadline that would mean war if the butthead did not disarm than they weren't going to do anything but veto it. So if that is the case than why bother? They are saying in effect that no matter what the inspections can go on for years and years. That is plain bull.
    Friends don't let friends go to war? Show me where the French have done much of anything for us besides the help they gave in the Revolution, and done not because they believed in our cause but to stick it to the English and then of course they sold the Louisiania purchase to us, again not because of anything other than what was good for them. Napolean needed the money. What other history is there for us to feel they have been fast friend with this country?
    And as far as terrorism experts, they thought that the suicide bombers were poor, uneducated young Muslim men. Something that the murderers of 9-11 didn't quite fit. The FBI missed all sorts of clues, even when they were told specifically by some field agents. The CIA has not been much better at figuring out what has been going on either. So why would I put much stock into what terrorism experts think about a link between Al Queda and Iraq?
    Oh, and if the idea of not having any sort of deadline was a good one from the French, why is the French President now saying they would be willing to revisit the issue? Maybe they could go along with deadlines as long as the UN weapons inspectors go for it? Could it be because they managed to shot themselves in the foot with the idea that inspections should go on forever? Naw, can't be.
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by rncountry
    [B]
    The point I was trying to make that you missed is this. The French could have won and won big had they been willing to go with a deadline, but they instead insisted THAT ANY resolution with a deadline would be vetoed.
    Why is the French President now saying they would be willing to revisit the issue? Maybe they could go along with deadlines as long as the UN weapons inspectors go for it? Could it be because they managed to shot themselves in the foot with the idea that inspections should go on forever? Naw, can't be.

    OK
    You are right!
    I am wrong!

    May I still pray for peace?
  9. by   rncountry
    Spacenurse, you are not the only one who has prayed for peace. I have a 19 year old son and would give my own life before wanting to see his or his siblings lives threatened. Praying for a safe world for my children has become a nightly ritual. I just happen to believe the French didn't help a bit in that.
  10. by   kittyw
    Originally posted by spacenurse
    I saw a tee shirt that said:
    "FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS START WARS"
    How is it the fault of France it the USA starts a war?

    I went to mass today and my Amen came at the end of a prayer for peace.
    Am I wrong to want what angeks sang at Jesus' birth?
    PEACE ON EARTH
    I think we all want peace... it's just how we get there.
  11. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by spacenurse
    I saw a tee shirt that said:
    "FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS START WARS"
    How is it the fault of France it the USA starts a war?

    I went to mass today and my Amen came at the end of a prayer for peace.
    Am I wrong to want what angeks sang at Jesus' birth?
    PEACE ON EARTH
    My question for you, Spacenurse, is this: Are you willing to accept peace at any price?

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited to add: By the way, Helen, good point about France. I hadn't considered it before, but you are right. From a strictly "selfish" viewpoint, France COULD have done itself far more good, and brought the UN along for the ride.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by kmchugh
    My question for you, Spacenurse, is this: Are you willing to accept peace at any price?

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited to add: By the way, Helen, good point about France. I hadn't considered it before, but you are right. From a strictly "selfish" viewpoint, France COULD have done itself far more good, and brought the UN along for the ride.
    I cannot even try to explain. Does anyone know what the outcome will be if one or another path is taken?
    I will do my part as I see fit and Pray for us all.

    Thank you for letting me know other people pray. (sarcasm through frustration)
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    Kevin:
    What do you mean "any price?"

    You cannot think I have much control with my letters and marching in the rain.

    I know you don't imply prayers for peace on earth can be harmful.

    People working for peace are not the ones who start wars.
  14. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by spacenurse
    Kevin:
    What do you mean "any price?"
    Well, I guess I mean exactly that. You have made your views on the war quite clear, and I can respect those views, as far as it goes. But, you seem to be of the belief that there is no way action against Saddam is appropriate. So, how far are you willing to believe that?

    -Can we let him keep chemical weapons in the name of peace?

    -Do we let him develop nuclear munitions in the name of peace?

    -Do we, in the name of peace, allow him to continue to violate the terms of the cease fire from the Gulf War, as well as UN resolutions? And if so, do we just give him Kuwait, in the name of peace?

    -OBL sent a communique outlining what he wants for the US. In it, he basically said he wanted to bring the "peace and blessings of Allah" to the US. Read he wants to bring his version of fundamental Islam to the US. Are you willing to give up your Catholic beliefs in the name of maintaining peace? Are you willing to wear traditional Islamic garb required by the Taliban in the name of peace? Are you willing to not work, not drive, not vote, and give up the rights you have because women before you fought for these rights, all in the name of keeping the peace?

    Because these people are willing to shatter the peace and kill Americans in the hopes of making all the above come true.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on Mar 17, '03

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