September 18, 2003


Our War With France (THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, September 18, 2003, NY Times)

It's time we Americans came to terms with something: France is not just our annoying ally. It is not just our jealous rival. France is becoming our enemy.

If you add up how France behaved in the run-up to the Iraq war (making it impossible for the Security Council to put a real ultimatum to Saddam Hussein that might have avoided a war), and if you look at how France behaved during the war (when its foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, refused to answer the question of whether he wanted Saddam or America to win in Iraq), and if you watch how France is behaving today (demanding some kind of loopy symbolic transfer of Iraqi sovereignty to some kind of hastily thrown together Iraqi provisional government, with the rest of Iraq's transition to democracy to be overseen more by a divided U.N. than by America), then there is only one conclusion one can draw: France wants America to fail in Iraq.

France wants America to sink in a quagmire there in the crazy hope that a weakened U.S. will pave the way for France to assume its "rightful" place as America's equal, if not superior, in shaping world affairs.

Mr. Friedman--who as the Times voice on foreign affairs is the avatar of liberal establishment thought on such matters--comes late to the recognition of something that's been obvious for two hundred-plus years--that France (whose Revolution is predicated on State-imposed equality) and America (whose Revolution is predicated on personal freedom) must be enemies--but perhaps not too late. Never mind collaborating with the Nazis, the Libya bombing incident, and the troop withdrawal affrontery, it's long past time to settle the score with France for Le Ballon Rouge.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2003 10:04 AM

And Friedman is just figuring that out now? Goodness, France's hypocrisy and corruption is so obvious even the Swedes see through it.

A little heartening double-whammy story for you all:

A senior member of Chretien's cabinet is taking his leave with 'da boss (four months and counting!) and has been lobbying for the head of NATO position. Chirac and Chretien holidayed together here this summer while France was culling its senior population in response to Orrin's demographic warnings. Anyway, we now read that our man is the candidate supported by--wait for it-- Canada and France, but the rest of Europe is having none of it. Post expected to go to the candidate from supportive Holland.

OK, not a major battle in the war on terrorism, but maybe more telling than one might think. Ordinary Canadians couldn't care less, but I invite you to join me in savouring the thought of our perplexed elites fretting that their amoral pro-Europeanism can't even sway Europe and may cost them a few prizes.

Posted by: Peter B at September 18, 2003 2:08 PM

My opinion on Mr. Friedman remains the same: bad moustache, bad columnist.

Posted by: Jimmy at September 18, 2003 3:11 PM

You know, there are plenty of good reasons to hate France other than a film we all suffered through in elementary school.

Posted by: Chris at September 18, 2003 3:34 PM

This, I think is clear, is part of the point of recently going back to the UN and asking for assistance. Countries that were at all serious about merely being squeamish about warm, and who were truly concerned about civilians have a chance to do nice, honorable peace-keeping and nation building now.

Those, like the French, who were merely considered with playing power games get to have their perfidy demonstrated once again, so that even Tom Friedman can grasp it.

Posted by: John Thacker at September 18, 2003 6:27 PM


But it's sufficient reason...

Posted by: oj at September 18, 2003 7:50 PM
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