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  • Calling for Ceasefire on France

    As some of you may know, the United States is moving rapidly to retaliate against France economy for it's views on the current war in Iraq. Tomorrow, a bill will be entered that will forbid French companies from bidding for contracts to rebuild Iraq. It is just the lastest step in an evergrowing movement to punish France economically for it's views politically.

    I do believe the French government did some grandstanding and posturing for the media. The war in Iraq will already cost France over $20 Billion dollars in lost oil revenues. This is on top of the $650 million dollar every year in trade lost. Their GDP is estimated at around $1.51 Trillion dollars. The United States GDP is around $10.082 Trillion. So the losses are greater per capita to the US.

    Source: CIA World Factbook 2002

    Chirac could have gone the route of British PM Tony Blair, and placed it all on the line. However, Chirac is in trouble politically at home, so he has less political capital to challenge the huge opposition group that would have protested against France's involvement even with an UN Resolution.

    Blair might already be on his way out in 18 months and has less to loose and alot to gain. Chirac didn't.

    Looking past the political and economic concerns, France exercised it's right to disapprove of American policy, which did not concur with the best interest of the French people. This is a right we should respect and accept.

    Do I support what France did in the UN? No. However, my anger is tempered by the knowledge we do the same thing everyday. I was upset when Chirac said it would change it's policy if Iraq used chemical weapons because I thought it was completely heartless. Yet, in the past days, our allies have disrespected our military. And the British are equally making claims about how the media downplays it's role in the war effort.

    So the French would not allow the UN to get involved. Is that really a bad thing? Have we forgotten Somalia?

    Saying yes to the a resolution means pledging your commitment to it. For the French, that would mean participating in the inevitable, and very dangerous stability operation, with no room to maneuver. Bush can take such a risk. He has most of Congress behind him, and they'll all have a difficult time blaiming Bush for whatever happens in Iraq. (They will though.) Chirac does not enjoy such comfort.

    The French are our allies. They were looking out for themselves, and there's not alot wrong with that. We're not invading Iraq to save the world. We're protecting our interest. I believe it's a tragic mistake for America to litterly punish an allie for exercising the same rights that are the foundation of our democracy. It's okay to be ticked off with France. It's not okay to hurt an friend.

    We might have alot to be angry with. However, we have NOTHING to stay angry about. We should respect our differences, and work to expand the common views we share.
    "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

  • #2
    Very thoughtful and intelligent post Deltapooh.

    The congressmen who are pushing for such a Bill have a childish and amateurish behavior that is not responsible. I guess that the majority of Congress is more thoughtful and reasoned than those guys and that this Bill won't pass.

    France has disappointed America, but as you rightly say, America is disappointing a lot of other countries every year through some policies and actions.

    The thing that bothers me with all this fuss about France is that it has almost a racist stance. Russia uttered words and declarations as hard and tough against America than France had. Same position. However, I don't hear anybody in America complaining about the Russians. Isn't that strange? I mean, if you criticize the kind of attitude that led to France's refusal to support the U.S., you should also be criticizing Russia every bit as hard as France. Otherwise it is just another case of double standards.

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    • #3
      France is not the only country that will posibly suffer from US "retaliation".

      The US Ambassador to Canada recently made a speech which said in short that the US administration was displeased with the Canadian government's position and that it was considering a further tightening of the border to restrict trade with their Canadian neighbours.

      since Canada is America's largest trading partner, this would have a delitorious effect on both countries.
      Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tigersqn
        France is not the only country that will posibly suffer from US "retaliation".

        The US Ambassador to Canada recently made a speech which said in short that the US administration was displeased with the Canadian government's position and that it was considering a further tightening of the border to restrict trade with their Canadian neighbours.

        since Canada is America's largest trading partner, this would have a delitorious effect on both countries.
        Indeed. It is really sad to see the American government behaving like this, and then wondering after why America gets less support around the world. If it goes on like this, America will have to become hostile to 90% of all the countries around the world just because they disagree with it!

        By the way, here is the official open letter to the American people written by a large group of French hotels and published this week as a gesture of reconciliation: An Open Letter to our American Friends

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tigersqn
          France is not the only country that will posibly suffer from US "retaliation".

          The US Ambassador to Canada recently made a speech which said in short that the US administration was displeased with the Canadian government's position and that it was considering a further tightening of the border to restrict trade with their Canadian neighbours.

          since Canada is America's largest trading partner, this would have a delitorious effect on both countries.
          I think Ontario alone does over 1 Billion dollars in trade with the US every single day. It's not only recent tensions that could limit trade, but tighter border controls due to September 11th as well. I recently read in the newspaper, that the USA apparently imports more energy (electricity, natural gas, and oil) from Canada, than any other single nation. The dispute over lumber has already hurt us significantly out here in BC, and I think the dispute over wheat is also headed to the WTO (again).

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          • #6
            Once PM Cretin leaves next February, things might get back to normal.
            Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

            Comment


            • #7
              I really don't have a problem with the bill that would prevent French companies from bidding to rebuild Iraq. France was against the war, has shouldered none of the burden in money or lives spent. Why should they get any of the *benifits* of the war.

              To the victor goes the spoils


              _Tim
              "Have you forgotten the face of your father?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tigersqn
                Once PM Cretin leaves next February, things might get back to normal.
                He he...so it seems you know what crétin means in French actually

                Comment


                • #9
                  Who is going to pay for rebuilding Iraq? For the cost born by the American taxpayer I see no problem prohibiting French or Russian companies from biding. At the very least let's wait to see how many Americans died from weapons illegally imported from Europe before we start shelling out the money.

                  However the United States Congress has no control over funds provided by countries for the rebuilding effort.
                  "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

                  Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Martin Schenkel
                    The dispute over lumber has already hurt us significantly out here in BC, and I think the dispute over wheat is also headed to the WTO (again).
                    Well, the Americans actually have a leg to stand on in terms of softwood. Not a strong leg, mind you . But it's a different way to doing things up here to enforce standards and such, not purely economic reasons aka subsidization. The WTO will no doubt rule in our favor in the end, it's just a matter of convincing those in Ottawa not to cave in and cut a deal (which is incidentally what that US lobby that got the tariffs imopsed in the first place are hoping for) because if the WTO process is seen to the end we will win and the US will be back to square one, rather than a "some tariffs" package.

                    And oh man, don't even get me started on wheat, heh! We have our own unfair trading practices on various other products ('cultural' products in particular) but North Dakota (the originators for the last 9-10 trade disputes over Canadian wheat in about as many years) is doing nothing but blatant trade harassment.

                    They've lost like 10 times already on prety much the same case worded differently . It costs our farmers $10 million a year just to respond to this crap. This while US agricultural subsidies amount to more than 4x as much of a US farmers gross revenue than in Canada. Their case basically has no grounds yet they keep trying.

                    Either way, if it goes to the WTO again, we'll win again and this will be just another pothole in the road of a long love-hate trade relationship.

                    Edit: I just stumbled on this gem: In the year 2000, farm subsidies in N. Dakota exceeded net farm income.

                    <--- Highly amused at the moment.
                    Last edited by MikeJ; 02 Apr 03, 22:11.
                    "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

                    – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tzar


                      He he...so it seems you know what crétin means in French actually
                      With a name like Pierre, I would hope so.
                      Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tim McBride
                        I really don't have a problem with the bill that would prevent French companies from bidding to rebuild Iraq. France was against the war, has shouldered none of the burden in money or lives spent. Why should they get any of the *benifits* of the war.

                        To the victor goes the spoils


                        _Tim
                        Well, that depends if the U.S. want other countries to pay for the rebuilding of Iraq, and I am quite sure the White House does not want to pick up the tab alone for this because we all know the costs could be horrendous to the American taxpayer. But if other countries get involved, they will ask for their share of the positive side also.

                        In any case, I believe Iraq in the next years will be more of a cash black hole than a gold mine...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tigersqn


                          With a name like Pierre, I would hope so.
                          Oh, sorry, I just had a look at your name in your profile et maintenant je comprends

                          It's just that this Trenton, Ontario location you have under your avatar made me think false assumptions about your mother tongue

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tzar


                            Well, that depends if the U.S. want other countries to pay for the rebuilding of Iraq, and I am quite sure the White House does not want to pick up the tab alone for this because we all know the costs could be horrendous to the American taxpayer. But if other countries get involved, they will ask for their share of the positive side also.

                            In any case, I believe Iraq in the next years will be more of a cash black hole than a gold mine...

                            I don't have a problem with other countries helping to rebuild Iraq, but not our enemies like France. I am an American taxpayer, and I'd prefer we pay it rather then the French. I would much rather my tax dollars get tied up in postwar Iraq then be used for bloated social welfare programs here in the U.S.

                            The more money we blow in Iraq the better the case can be made to cut spending, and thereby reduce the size and scope of the federal government here at home.
                            "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tzar


                              Oh, sorry, I just had a look at your name in your profile et maintenant je comprends

                              It's just that this Trenton, Ontario location you have under your avatar made me think false assumptions about your mother tongue
                              What about my mother's tongue ?

                              Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                              Comment

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