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Jacques Chirac's Interview with TIME

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  • Jacques Chirac's Interview with TIME

    At a moment where the President of France is scorned and looked upon with contempt from some Americans, he has just given an interesting interview to TIME. Here's the link:

    France is not a pacifist country

    I didn't know that but he spent a couple of years in the U.S. studying, working at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis and Howard Johnson. He even say that he loves American junk food. Coming from the President of the country of fine wines and cheeses, that's quite an unexpected compliment !

  • #2
    Yes, indeed it's interesting. Also, he seems more informed on China than I thought. I like his solution, although I disagree with some of his conclusions. The President banks too much on the inspectors. They've come out and said Iraq is not complying, yet he seems to want a firmer statement, like an all "F" report.

    Tragically, the French and Germans have something Bush doesn't; Time. If Bush doesn't act now, he will not be able to take action again. Backing away is not such an simple option when you consider how much political capita he spent thus far, including getting those inspectors back into Iraq. Bush and Blair's threat of war drove the inspectors back into Iraq. Their threats are basically driving the UN's diplomatic policy on Iraq. That kind of motivation is never positive.

    The world is not committed to disarming Iraq. That was made obvious early on. The only reason anyone gives a hoot right now is because they fear the consequences of war for their country. If Bush goes to war, he'll likely win. There's even a chance he will win big. If that happens, Bush will emerge with a very strong political position world wide. Blair will ensure the United Kingdom's Dominance of the EU for the next five or ten years, and everyone who's been screaming murder will be running for cover.
    World leaders will have no other choice, but to role with Bush and Blair because they will appear stronger.

    You see, the ills of this war will take time to develop. Even if there are mass demonstrations throughout out the world after the operation begins, all will be silenced by Iraq's cheering our soldiers as liberators, kissing them, waving the US flag, and getting on television to thank the Coalition for saving them. The Iraqi people is all that matters. World leaders will look real bad and will have to commit to the nation-building effort to redeem themselves.

    Slowly, the cheers will die down, the Iraqis will realize being free from tyranny has it's own disadvantages, and there goes the neighborhood. France and the rest will not be able to withdraw so easily since their commitment was not to disarming Iraq, but to rebuilding it as a nation. Meantime, US interest will have shifted more east toward China, and its gonna be hell getting us to return out attention to the matter at hand.

    Niether side in this argument is taking the absolutely correct position. France is just as wrong as the US. For the sake of the world, I just pray Bush is more correct than the French President.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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    • #3
      With this article, Chirac calms things down. This interview is for the American public opinion, after what American media said about France. At the same time he sends a message to the Bush’s Administration. After what happened in the UN and all over the world this last week-end, it’s time for France to explain that American and French objectives are not very different.

      France and Germany score some points concerning their place in Europe, and concerning the economic and geopolitical independence of EU. Their “struggle” with America is not because they hate the USA, or because they think America is an enemy, but because, in the necessary alliance with America, they want that Europe has the same influence in the decisions as her partner. These points were scored first when Germany and France decided to walk together in the Iraqi crisis, with the same voice and the same goals. And now with what is happening in Spain where Aznar has some problems with his public opinion, in Italy where Berlusconni say that Italy will not participate in an attack without an UN resolution, and in Great Britain where Blair is more and more isolated, they show to Bush that he must take account of what the Old Europe has to say. Of course this diplomatic game is not over, and America is going to retaliate soon. One thing is sure : there are limits, and no one want to cross them.
      France scores some points in the world too, showing she is already there. In the Middle East, some countries will remember that France can be a counterbalance, even a light one, to America. And without speaking about the image of France in the public opinions…

      But Chirac know that the USA are largely stronger than France, that Europe can’t walk without America. He understand that he mustn’t go too far. Not because America is dangerous, but because her and France are partners. I wouldn’t be surprised if now, during the two next weeks, France softened her position about Iraq. After all she know that the war will occur, and it’s better for her interests to be in than out. The French diplomats are underhand, but not stupid.

      La Palice.
      Monsieur de La Palice est mort
      Mort devant Pavie.
      Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
      Il était encore en vie...

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