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November 3, 2003
The Franco-American War, Part 42

Gregory Djerejian at the Belgravia Dispatch has a spot-on analysis of today's Washington Post article on Tariq Aziz and France's role in ensuring war was the only option:

Aziz has told interrogators that French and Russian intermediaries repeatedly assured Hussein during late 2002 and early this year that they would block a U.S.-led war through delays and vetoes at the U.N. Security Council. Later, according to Aziz, Hussein concluded after private talks with French and Russian contacts that the United States would probably wage a long air war first, as it had done in previous conflicts. By hunkering down and putting up a stiff defense, he might buy enough time to win a cease-fire brokered by Paris and Moscow.

Djerejian asks:

And, it begs the question, is this the behaviour of an "ally"? If, on the cusp of a conflict, where the U.S. has amassed some 200,000 troops on the Iraqi border, perhaps even making a strategic blunderer like Saddam think twice about continuing to stonewall the international community--if then French contacts work to make Saddam feel he is not really facing a full-blown American invasion--well, what's the result?

For one, it makes it less likely that Saddam will stand down.

And therefore more likely that U.S. troops will have to fight (and die) in a war.

I wouldn't expect such considerations to give a Yevgeny Primakov pause--but I would have expected it to give a nominal ally a reason to abstain from such diplomatic foul play--or at least cause a little crise de consience style navel-gazing.

Take the time to read both articles. It emphasizes the reality that France, and to some extent Germany, is no longer a US ally. We should take all steps possible to undermine the current French government, and at the very least, do whatever possible to isolate them diplomatically. Better to have them in front of us as an acknowledged hostile entity than behind us, pretending to be our friend where it makes it easier for France to plunge daggers.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 3, 2003 6:00 AM

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