Sunday, February 16, 2003

The Straits Times Interactive has written about the UN security council meeting on Friday.

Opening his remarks, French Foreign Minister Dominique De Villepin said: 'The message comes to you today from an old country, France, from a continent like mine, Europe, that has known war, occupation and barbarity.

'An old country that does not forget and knows everything it owes to the freedom fighters who came from America and elsewhere,' he said.

Steven Den Beste has been writing about it as well.

Fuck the State Department. They're the ones who got us into this mess, and they don't seem to have figured out yet that they've been played for suckers by the Weasels.

It is possible that this could cause long term resentment. But in the short run, it's really difficult to fathom why State thinks that some nation which is on the fence in this would decide, when it saw Germany get crunched for its active belligerence, that becoming actively belligerent against the US is a good idea. At this point I will settle for resentful support in preference to active opposition.

If you read his article and the Observer article he links to about Donald Rumsfeld's plan to punish Germany, you'll see that our tone is not really so different then Steven Den Beste's. The fact that France may come off sounding better to third parties is not the major issue here. The fact is, we don't seem to know exactly what is going to happen after we take over Iraq (it seems inevitable at this point). I would like to think that the Bush administration has a plan, but if so either it is so secret that he has convinced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to criticize his administration to protect it, or they don't understand it. If so, I presume we won't need France and Germany to help us with it. On the other hand, perhaps we're not sure exactly how we're going to handle it but simply feel that the danger is worse if we do nothing. In a case like that, you never know who will be of help. Of course there's still the possibility we are making a mistake, in which case not knowing whose help you might want goes double.

Remember when Pakistan and India tested their way into the nuclear club? Yes there were sanctions, but I honestly think we spoke of both countries more respectfully than we do of France and Germany today. Rightly or wrongly, we decided that Pakistan's support in getting rid of the Taliban was worth having, even at a cost. I would like to think that France and Germany will be there for us if three months from now things have changed as much as they did between August 11, 2001 and October 11, 2001.

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