January 26, 2003
The French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, declared on January 20, 2003,
“Already we know for a fact that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs are being largely blocked, even frozen. We must do everything possible to strengthen this process.”
So France knows “for a fact” that Saddam has WMD programs. Then France knows that Saddam is not in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1441. But France wants to continue the UN Sanctions, no-fly zones and inspection process. Now why would they want to continue a failed policy – containment – a failure that in fact the French had much to do with?
It has clearly failed because, as France knows “for a fact,” Saddam has WMD programs. After all, how could such programs be “blocked, even frozen” if they did not exist? How could they currently exist if “containment” worked?
So now, the French have threatened to veto any new UN Security Council Resolution calling for war, while keeping the door open to join just such a war at the last minute – and preserve their right to post-Saddam Iraqi spoils, just as they did in 1991.
France’s history of exploiting the Iraqi situation:
From the beginning, France has consistently undermined the UN economic sanctions against Iraq. France, after all, is looking out for French interests, and they are Iraq’s major western trading partner. Once President Bush escalated the Iraq issue to a war footing, the French forgot about undermining the sanctions and began pushing for continued stalling through the failed inspection process.
In 1996 the French, who now are championing inspections and the no-fly zones, then backed out of its UN obligation enforcing the Northern no-fly zone that protects the Kurds.
In 1998 they left the southern no-fly zone, abandoning the Shiites.
Leftists like the World Worker’s Party and A.N.S.W.E.R. decry the US for having supported Saddam in the 1980’s but oddly have nothing to say about France building Iraq’s first nuclear reactor or the French political activity designed to keep trade with Saddam wide open. The French are the largest contractors in the UN oil for food program with Iraq. The French seem perfectly satisfied that the money they pay Saddam for oil goes toward WMD programs and supporting the military. Iraq owes France over $8 Billion in oil IOU’s and France has huge oil development contracts with Saddam that require cessation of the UN Sanctions to come to fruition.
What the French, and for that matter the Russians want is peace for oil – as long as Saddam is in power the current French and Russian oil contracts remain intact.
The truth is, as said by Jonah Goldberg:
And just to set the record straight: The sanctions regime has improved the health of all Iraqi children not under Saddam Hussein’s thumb. In the Kurdish North — where American and British, but not French, planes prevent mass slaughter — there is no mass starvation or child-health crisis. Saddam, and not sanctions, has killed hundreds of thousands of children in order to score propaganda points, which have in turn been manfully presented to the world community by Mr. Chirac in exchange for fat oil contracts. In effect, the French (and Russians) do not want a war-for-oil because the current peace-for-oil allows them to collect billions from the corpses of dead Iraqi children.
So when the French now say they are in favor of sanctions and continued inspections, they merely mean they are in favor of preventing the U.S. from changing the status quo and depriving the French of blood money. One would not normally associate the word “chutzpah” with a country so hostile to its Jews, but there you have it.
At least America wants to correct its mistakes. France doesn’t even think it was a mistake to create Saddam and is doing everything it can to let Saddam out of his box. It’s a brainless slander to say America wants a war for oil. It is a plain fact that France wants “peace” for oil.
You may think the U.S. needs U.N. approval and, because France says the same thing, you think they agree with you. But the French spout this righteous drivel because they want to hamstring American influence to their advantage. After all, they virtually never seek U.N. Security Council approval for their own military nannying of their basket-case former African colonies. (Ivory Coast)
France is doing what it thinks is best for France — not the world, not America, not humanity, but France. If that involves screwing America, they’ll do it. If that involves leaping to America’s defense at the last minute like the cartoon dog who’s got the big dog at his side, they’ll do that too. If you are a dedicated opponent of an American war, fine. It’s perfectly defensible to be rooting for France’s success at the U.N.
But if France’s righteous bloviating against war makes them your Dashboard Saint of International Integrity, it’s either because you are sand-poundingly ignorant of how the world works or it’s because you think France’s self-interest is more important than America’s. If the former applies to you, read a book. If it’s the latter, maybe you should move there along with Alec Baldwin, Robert Altman, and the rest of the crowd who promised to leave a long time ago. But whatever you do, don’t call France’s position principled, because that just insults us both.
“L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace.” (Audacity, audacity, always audacity.)
– – Napoleon Bonaparte
Categories: Iraq's Odious Debts