Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"France has always said"

The French continue their convergence with anybody who recommends America up sticks in Iraq.
PARIS December 7, 2006 (AFP) -

From our point of view, it reflects the actual situation in Iraq," Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy* said in a statement.
"As France has always said, there can be no military solution to the deep crisis that Iraq is going through. The report does not fix a precise timetable for withdrawal, but it does set a horizon. That is also what we are saying," he said.

Yes, well, what "France has always said" -

- more commonly formulated as a petulant French "demand" - regarding Iraq has had very little to do with Iraq and everything to do with vindicating France's go-nowhere opposition to American policy, Iraq (or whoever) be damned.

MANAMA, Iraq December 11, 2006 (Telegraph) - Jalal Talabani, Iraq's president, firmly denounced proposals in the Iraq Study Group to scale down the war effort. ...

"We smell in this report the attitude of James Baker. We see this as an insult to the people of Iraq."
... In an interview in Bahrain, Iraq's foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari also lashed out at the ISG report, telling The Daily Telegraph it threatened the survival of the Baghdad government.

"We do not like it, in fact we think it is very dangerous for us," he said.

"There are some proposals in it which mean American is giving up."
"America giving up"?

Ah, mes amis, that is what "France has always said".
No sooner was America in Iraq, than France demanded America get out. France has also demanded, inter alia, that Iraq magically produce institutions and instruments of post-Saddam governance post-haste.** France has demanded multipolar French-catered tea parties to instruct the Iraqis on French ideas of Iraq sovereignty. And she has demanded Iraq's terrorists be given seats at these tea parties. Of course, France can demand much because she does little.
In none of this has France once converged, not once, with the Iraqi government or a consensus of the Iraqi people.
The ugly truth is that pettiness and pique used by France to influence events has signaled terrorists to go at it in Iraq. This has put Iraq at hazard, but provides a context for smug "France has always said (told you so)" pronouncements.
And more than anything in the world, this French government wants to tell the United States it told us so.
** By contrast, the European Convention, chaired by a Frenchman, convened in December 2001 to draft the EU constitution. A year and a half later a draft was published, argued over, and a final draft finalized the following year. In May 2005 the French voted the whole mess dead.

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