Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The Friendly French Resistance
"French diplomacy made an important contribution to drafting U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 adopted last November 8, calling for fresh U.N. inspections to make sure Iraq is rid of all weapons of mass destruction. The resolution was ambiguous enough to be seen merely as a method to justify war, as there were countless possibilities to declare non-compliance and no clear definition of compliance.

"Perhaps, if the Iraqis had been less cooperative, the United States less arrogant, and public opinion more indifferent, France would have accepted a U.S. declaration of non-compliance and gone along with war, even reluctantly. That is what the United States expected. Instead, France has insisted that disarming Iraq is the real goal -- taking Resolution 1441 literally. The Bush administration, whose real goal all along was regime change, not mere disarmament, feels betrayed. However, France, like the hero who discovers his unexpected valor in the heat of crisis, has been taking its role more and more seriously. The brutal contempt of the Bush team has had an impact."

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