: Chirac, in the words of the BBC, snubs Bush‘s suggestion that NATO should get involved in Iraq. Well, that means he’s snubbing Kerry’s suggestion, too, since that’s at the heart of his strategy. He’s just snubbing America, again.
No, he’s not “just snubbing America, again.” He’s snubbing the President’s suggestion. How easily things like this turn into “France vs. America” is simply astounding.
But that’s because Bush didn’t go grovelling using proper French (though Chirac speaks English fluently). John Kerry speaks French with Swiss accent, but it’s still an improvement over that Cowboy Bush.
And what is the difference between Bush and Kerry’s suggestion?
When did France join NATO?
Why don’t Zimmer [window?] and Big Fire know France is not in NATO?
Who gives a shit what France thinks?
Although France is not a member of NATO’s integrated command structure (it pulled out in 1966), it is still a NATO “member” and participates in training exercises with other NATO members.
France prefers to go it alone. They drop a few thousand Foreign Legionnaires into a country and kill a few hundred trouble makers without the UN or the press watching giving permission or being too concerned.
France is part of NATO so that others can come to her aid. France does not intend to aid anyone unless it is to the personal benefit of the French President or his cronies.(Can you say “Exective Life”?)
Kerry’s position on foreign leaders is akin to Nixon’s “Vietnam Plan”. Something nebulous to make the opposition nervous. Like Nixon, if Kerry wins then he will think of something. Until that happens, there is no need to get excited.
Le Frogs, zey are zomzing else,non?
Per-aps, ze Americains will rize up en smash le French, mai oui, per-aps zo!
Walter: Thanks for the update. My reaction was to the “France v. America” trope implicit within Jeff’s statement about Chirac snubbing the US “again.”
Thanks David Pittelli for getting some sense into the thick skull of uninformed people. It’s amazing how many people get this wrong (even in France, I had to correct one of my history teachers in high school). So Walter Wallis, get this, France is a founding member of NATO, and as such was a member since 1949:
That doesn’t mean I condone in any way Chirac’s policy, or that I challenge the characterization that France doesn’t have much to say that anyone should pay attention to, but please, get a sense of the facts before commenting on serious matters.
Jeff, NATO is a “collective defense,” I don’t quite see what it has to do with Iraq, which didn’t attack the sovereign land of any NATO member (in the context of articles 5 and 6). Failing that, to the best of my knowledge no direct security threat to NATO members has been demonstrated. While NATO’s action in the US post 9/11 was perfectly legitimate and true to the alliance’s letter and spirit, its role in Iraq seems dubious. It doesn’t mean some of its members can’t be involved in Iraq, individually or through other international bodies, but alliances are formal frameworks with specific goals and rules of engagement.
For the record, apparently as of now it’s not exactly clear to NATO either why they’d have anything to do in Iraq (as opposed to say, at the border in Turkey):
Though I guess you could argue Afghanistan was a precedent in terms of using NATO outside of its natural geographic space:
Presumably, Afghanistan, by harboring Al-Qaida terrorists, was more of a direct trust to NATO members than Iraq.
There are other questions about NATO’s involvement in Iraq, starting with its likely efficiency there:
Jeff, whether you like it or not, NATO is not George’s posse, and I find it disingenuous to craft this question as France vs. America (believe me, I’m the first to bash my country every time – and that’s often – it’s deserved).
France was a founding member of NATO for the same reason they got a permanent seat on the UN Security Council: we (US/UK) felt sorry for them after saving their butts and threw them a couple of bones to prop up their self-esteem. And (surprise!) when push came to shove in ’66, they took their guns off the table, safe in the knowledge that we’d be there for them again if the Soviets came knocking on their door.
TC-LeatherPenguin, regardless of the reasons why France joined NATO and got a permanent seat at the UN security council, how is leaving NATO’s integrated command structure (http://www.nato.int/docu/update/60-69/1966e.htm) equal to “taking [one's] guns off the table”? I’m definitely not a De Gaulle fan, but your post is a non sequitur.
By “taking their guns off the table” (quitting the command structure)they gave themselves an easy way to refuse to heed the command structure. “We don’t agree with what you’re doing so we won’t let you use our troops to do it since we weren’t involved in the decision.”
The next time Chirac says or does something constructive will be the first.
personally, i’m more irked by Chirac’s flatout and blatant disregard when invited to President Reagan’s funeral… though i honestly don’t know why i’m surprised by anything having to do with France anymore. they’ve shown their stripes, and are most definately not a “friend”, much less an “ally” of the United States. i’d love to see the liberal microscope of the [media] focused on France for an entire year and see how they stack up to US. be interesting to see how “transparent” they are publically, for the entire world to see.
as for NATO, no big surprise their either – France as sunk too much into fighting America, has made it’s stance well known to the entire world, and has too much at stake at this juncture… their only misguided course forward is to further disrupt our advancements in the ME. afterall, wasn’t the foreign minister fingered by Iraqi papers detailing his taking of millions in bribe (blood) money from Saddam?
Noone in Belgium (where NATO is located) gives a ‘ca-ca’ what France thinks, nationals, neighboring countries nor expats. Furthermore I’m worried that Americans can’t see (and more specifically neither can he) that Michael Moore’s attitude is becoming anti-American (he vacations with the Frogs) who, the arrogant SOB’s love hosting his celeb-status. Moore who has never lived in Europe or France for an extended period of time does not realize that being an American abroad requires a certain amount of self-serving, regularly vocalized patriotism. We’re emulated sure, and liked, but we’re not especially admired or appreciated as a people or a political force.
Uh, sorry, noone was talking about M. Moore but anyway… but he’s just as influential as Bush these days.
Cheers from a freelance dot-com/mediabug Manhattanite living Brussels
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