"France Is Not a Pacifist Country"

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by medea, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #1
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030224-423466,00.html
    On the question of Iraq, America's oldest ally has turned into one of its principal adversaries, as Paris and Washington disagree about whether United Nations inspectors should be given more time to do their job. The French President doesn't feel isolated. In fact, he told TIME in an exclusive interview in the Elysee Palace, he's ready to offer some "friendly advice" to President Bush on how the American Chief Executive might honorably back away from the brink of war. Excerpts:

    Do last week's U.N. inspectors' reports mark a turning point in the debate over Iraq? In the preceding two days, I received phone calls from several heads of state, both members and nonmembers of the Security Council, and I came to the conclusion that a majority of world leaders share our determination to search for a peaceful solution to disarming Iraq.

    If there is a war, what do you see as the consequences for the Middle East? The consequences of war would be considerable in human terms. In political terms, it would destabilize the entire region. It's very difficult to explain that one is going to spend colossal sums of money to wage war when there may be another solution yet is unable to provide adequate aid to the developing world.

    Why do you think fallout from a war would be so much graver than Tony Blair and George Bush seem to? I simply don't analyze the situation as they do. Among the negative fallout would be inevitably a strong reaction from Arab and Islamic public opinion. It may not be justified, and it may be, but it's a fact. A war of this kind cannot help giving a big lift to terrorism. It would create a large number of little bin Ladens. Muslims and Christians have a lot to say to one another, but war isn't going to facilitate that dialogue. I'm against the clash of civilizations; that plays into the hands of extremists. There is a problem?the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq. The international community is right to be disturbed by this situation, and it's right in having decided Iraq should be disarmed. The inspections began, and naturally it is a long and difficult job. We have to give the inspectors time to do it. And probably?and this is France's view?we have to reinforce their capacities, especially those of aerial surveillance. For the moment, nothing allows us to say inspections don't work.

    Isn't France ducking its military responsibilities to its oldest ally? France is not a pacifist country. We currently have more troops in the Balkans than the Americans. France is obviously not anti-American. It's a true friend of the United States and always has been. It is not France's role to support dictatorial regimes in Iraq or anywhere else. Nor do we have any differences over the goal of eliminating Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. For that matter, if Saddam Hussein would only vanish, it would without a doubt be the biggest favor he could do for his people and for the world. But we think this goal can be reached without starting a war.

    But you seem willing to put the onus on inspectors to find arms rather than on Saddam to declare what he's got. Are there nuclear arms in Iraq? I don't think so. Are there other weapons of mass destruction? That's probable. We have to find and destroy them. In its current situation, does Iraq?controlled and inspected as it is?pose a clear and present danger to the region? I don't believe so. Given that, I prefer to continue along the path laid out by the Security Council. Then we'll see.

    What evidence would justify war? It's up to the inspectors to decide. We gave them our confidence. They were given a mission, and we trust them. If we have to give them greater means, we'll do so. It's up to them to come before the Security Council and say, "We won. It's over. There are no more weapons of mass destruction," or "It's impossible for us to fulfill our mission. We're coming up against Iraqi ill will and impediments." At that point, the Security Council would have to discuss this report and decide what to do. In that case, France would naturally exclude no option.

    But without Iraqi cooperation, even 300 inspectors can't do the job. That's correct, no doubt. But it's up to the inspectors to say so. I'm betting that we can get Iraq to cooperate more. If I'm wrong, there will still be time to draw other conclusions. When a regime like Saddam's finds itself caught between certain death and abandoning its arms, I think it will make the right choice. But I can't be certain.

    If the Americans were to bring a resolution for war before the U.N., would France use its veto? In my view, there's no reason for a new resolution. We are in the framework of (U.N. Security Council Resolution) 1441, and let's go on with it. I don't see what any new resolution would add.

    Some charge you are motivated by anti-Americanism. I've known the U.S. for a long time. I visit often, I've studied there, worked as a forklift operator for Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis and as a soda jerk at Howard Johnson's. I've hitchhiked across the whole United States; I even worked as a journalist and wrote a story for the New Orleans Times-Picayune on the front page. I know the U.S. perhaps better than most French people, and I really like the United States. I've made many excellent friends there, I feel good there. I love junk food, and I always come home with a few extra pounds. I've always worked and supported transatlantic solidarity. When I hear people say that I'm anti-American, I'm sad?not angry, but really sad.

    Do you think America's role as the sole superpower is a problem? Any community with only one dominant power is always a dangerous one and provokes reactions. That's why I favor a multipolar world, in which Europe obviously has its place. Anyway, the world will not be unipolar. Over the next 50 years, China will become a global power, and the world won't be the same. So it's time to start organizing. Transatlantic solidarity will remain the basis of the world order, in which Europe has its role to play.

    Haven't tensions over Iraq poisoned transatlantic relationships? I repeat: Iraq must be disarmed, and for that it must cooperate more than it does now. If we disarm Iraq, the goal set by the Americans will have been fulfilled. And if we do that, there can be no doubt that it will bex due in large part to the presence of American forces on the spot. If there hadn't been U.S. soldiers present, Saddam might not have agreed to play the game. If we go through with the inspections, the Americans will have won, since it would essentially be thanks to the pressure they exercised that Iraq was disarmed.

    Don't you think it would be extremely difficult politically for President Bush to pull back from war? I'm not so sure about that. He would have two advantages if he brought his soldiers back. I'm talking about a situation, obviously, where the inspectors say now there's nothing left, and that will take a certain number of weeks. If Iraq doesn't cooperate and the inspectors say this isn't working, it could be war. If Iraq is stripped of its weapons of mass destruction and that's been verified by the inspectors, then Mr. Bush can say two things: first, "Thanks to my intervention, Iraq has been disarmed," and second, "I achieved all that without spilling any blood." In the life of a statesman, that counts?no blood spilled.

    Yet Washington may well go to war despite your plan. That will be their responsibility. But if they were to ask me for my friendly advice, I would counsel against it.

    I think you should all read this before continuing on your "I hate France" rants.
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #2
    My god what Book! I think France may not be pacifist but are real real close. Remember milesovec? very reluctant to do anything untill forced fed. Iraq has ignored the resolutions. that is a fact. He has not turned over his bio/chemical nor destroyed them. that is a fact. He pays for people to blow themselves up in Israel. that is a fact. He has missles that go further then allowed. that is a fact. He has killed more of his own people then anyone in Iraqi's Past. that is a fact. What does France need from him other then a Direct Attack on France? Ill read more of your book and get back to you.:)
     
  3. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

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    #3
    france is just afraid because they can't fight a war to save their lives.

    actually, they just have too much of an economic interest there. they stand to lose money if we invade iraq.

    simple as that.
     
  4. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #4
    Puh-leaze!

    Its never as simple as that. And for all the talk of economic interests in the area as well as weapons sales to the Iraqi's, the one thing people always fail to consider is that we likely have just as much interest in the area both in terms of finances and in terms of past weapons we provided/sold them.

    I'm sick of this crap. "France is against military action, they must be thinking only of their pocket books! Well, they are a bunch of backstabbers, we should sanction them!"

    Fudge that. What happened to the US respecting dissenting opinions? Just because we don't agree on an issue is no reason to start name-calling, slandering and declaring the end of a long standing friendship.

    This is crap. Total crap.

    Taft
     
  5. pantagruel macrumors regular

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    #5
    agreed Taft.

    This is an enlightening article that really brings france's view into focus. The quote "That's why I favor a multipolar world, in which Europe obviously has its place. Anyway, the world will not be unipolar. Over the next 50 years, China will become a global power, and the world won't be the same. So it's time to start organizing. Transatlantic solidarity will remain the basis of the world order, in which Europe has its role to play" is what I have been trying to say but havnt been able to. This is why America can not and should not go to war no matter what, if they bypass the U.N. and act amongst themselves then we will be throwing away years of work. we need to work together to make this work, Iraq will be handled, but it needs to be handled in a way we can all agree on.
     
  6. GeneR macrumors 6502a

    GeneR

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    #6
    RE: France

    I think pantagruel makes a VERY important point. In the next 50 years? No, with technology growing as fast as it is, China will emerge in say the next ten if not sooner. No, this is not time for war. At least not the kind of war that Bush is proposing. The real war that is already afoot is an economic one. Corporations are emerging as sovereign states of sorts in terms of effecting political policy.

    The U.S. of A. and its allies need to think about the broader scope of the world economic issues: we're pumping technology into China at an amazing rate right now. Later on, they can always say "Thanks for the info, we'll take it from here!" And they will.

    No. If the U.S. and its economic neighbors are really thinking, the real agenda is the BRAIN TRUST, that must be developed and maintained within the U.S. and it's neighbors. Intellectual property issues is paramount to the survival of the U.S. economic base. But that also means re-evaluating and reinvigorating our population with technological know-how to remain competitive. This means a new work ethnic must be imposed on all generations of society. It's not about gaining a better quality of life, it's about keeping American identity solidly planted in a forward-looking psychology.

    It's called: self-preservation.

    RE: France
    France IS an ally and I'm sure it always will be (unless G.W. continues in office).
    It also has nuclear capabilities (which is should!)
    It also has a right to agree or disagree. (This too is a fundamental right that MUST be respected if the U.S. wants respect).
    From what I understand, it has an enormous Muslim population too. I heard it was around 50%, unlike here in the U.S. What does that mean? It doesn't mean that France is pro-The Middle East. It means that it can see both sides of the issue that G.W. is pushing on the American public.

    So, when people bash France, I'm a little peeved to say the least. It's a good country like many other countries. And what they say in response to this War situation should be taken with respect. They're not idiots. Only someone who hasn't seen what their culture is all about and claims American "superiority" is really gunning up the wrong tree.

    There are, to quote Taft, "It's never as simple as that"...

    My $0.02.
     
  7. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #7
    The US is not acting alone, am i wrong or did the last resolution have all members agreeing with it? Saddam has choosen not to disarm. It really is that simple but now the million shades grey instead of just looking at the facts. He has choosen this action and blix and france and a few others with dealings with him have given him all the time (12 years) and still nothing. This guy has shown time and time again he is a killer, he is a liar, and he funds terrorist. Just because half of Europe choose to be blind does not mean we must. Finish the JOB.
     
  8. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #8
    We must also remember France's history as an empire. They also have a long history of colonization, and most, if not all, have failed.

    One thing to remember is that they have had, as a country, a longer history of these types of situations. Algeria alone gives them reason to pause before taking drastic action against a sovereign nation.

    Take this man's opinion of the situation (those on the right will undoubtedly hate this opinion piece...word to the wise ;) ): http://www.salon.com/opinion/scheer/2003/02/26/france/index.html

    Finally, the comparisons between Hitler and Saddam and of appeasement are simply laughable. There are so few similarities between the two. The only thing they have in common is their grip on their own countries. Beyond that, Iraq's capabilities, their weapons, and the will of their people is nowhere near that of Nazi Germany.

    Taft
     
  9. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #9
    The biggest and best argument for war (and an argument I would agree with, BTW) is that he may have dealings with terrorism organizations (read: Al Quiada).

    Unfortunately, those links haven't been proven or evidence hasn't been revealed to the public or any other international agency capable of verifying it. So, while Bush and his cronies shout, "Saddam supports terrorists!!" we, and the international community, are left with little proof except their word. I see this as problematic.

    So while you and others say Saddam funds terrorists, I have serious doubts as to the veracity of that statement.

    Taft
     
  10. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #10
    That bow tie must be tight! this guy pays peoples families everyday to strap bombs on themselves and blow up innocent people in Israel. Correct yourself. If thats not terrorist then there is no such thing as a terrorist. Saddam is as much a terrorist as iam a air breather.
     
  11. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #11
    Show me just one link. One piece of solid evidence showing his ties to terrorism.

    I'm waiting...

    Taft
     
  12. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #12
    Also, this opens up a HUGE can of worms regarding the Isreali/Palestinian situation. How should we handle that. The Palestinians are technically terrorists, right?? Well we should overthrow their government and restore peace!!! Hail to the victors over terrorism!!

    Oh...wait....its more complicated that that??? That wouldn't work???

    Exactly.

    Taft
     
  13. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #13
    So you wont admit he is a terrorist, thats ok neither will France.
     
  14. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #14
    Fudge us both, eh? Our opinions on the war don't matter anyway. :rolleyes:

    This is what I see as the biggest problem with this situation. The idea that we are "right" and damn the world for disagreeing. It is so juvenile, arrogant and erroneously fatalistic.

    We have no divine doctrine. We are not absolutely right. What we are is afraid for our safety. I am too. But that doesn't give us the right to lash out or impose our order, wants and wishes on the world.

    Taft
     
  15. GeneR macrumors 6502a

    GeneR

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    #15
    Yep.

    That about sums it up for me too.
     
  16. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #16
    Viva la whatever...

    France see's the Iraqi problem is a chance to regain international footing and power. Along with Germany and Russia, they are hoping to show that the great American steamroller is not irresistable. "Old Europe's" power play doesn't really have the financial/military backbone that China is slowly becoming. By opposing the United States, these countries can expose our weaknesses and inconsistencies, both ethical and financial.

    There may also be something to the fact that France is afraid of its own "dirty dealings" becoming unearthed in an Iraqi shakedown. Russia probably has concerns here as well.

    Badmouthing France is shortsighted, because without the French, the United States would not have won the War of Independence. They may be slow coming into this war, but certainly no slower than we were in WWII. You can also bet that Chiraq has more of his countrymen supporting his current methods than President Bush has, which is at best 50% while we are not yet at war.
     
  17. mikulashek macrumors member

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    #17
    "Don't you think it would be extremely difficult politically for President Bush to pull back from war? I'm not so sure about that. He would have two advantages if he brought his soldiers back. I'm talking about a situation, obviously, where the inspectors say now there's nothing left, and that will take a certain number of weeks. If Iraq doesn't cooperate and the inspectors say this isn't working, it could be war. If Iraq is stripped of its weapons of mass destruction and that's been verified by the inspectors, then Mr. Bush can say two things: first, "Thanks to my intervention, Iraq has been disarmed," and second, "I achieved all that without spilling any blood." In the life of a statesman, that counts?no blood spilled. "

    Makes sense doesnt it, Bush is not going to look good for starting a war, if his real intent is to disarm Iraq, then work towards that not just jumping at war, and honestly right now if the U.S. starts a war, it is not just going to be with Iraq like the Gulf War, it could very well be a WWIII, North Korea is mad at us as well and they are threatening nuclear war themselves. I do not belive Bush is bright enough or level-headed enough to handle this without going to war, he is using a caveman rational that is going to get a lot of people killed.
     
  18. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #18
    Taft, I understand and respect your position, but dont hurt me is right. Saddams regime pays $25,000 to every family where someone is a suicide bomber in Israel. That is terror.

    I understand were you are coming from, and in no way and I wanting a replay of our arguements today, as I am too tired, but you have to see the problem here.

    1) 12 years and 17 resolutions with no real compliance.

    2) France, Russia, and German have over 100 Billion dollars invested in Iraq

    3) If any other leader in the world (Mosivich) tortured his own people and tried to commit genocide, we would take them out.

    4) We are not absolutely right, but we have the right to determine what is in our best national interest.

    5) No all intelligence can be made public. You have to understand that some of the things that we know would cause mass hysteria in the public forum.
     
  19. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #19
    Off topic

    If you put value in creativity, integrity and ethics then most of us are worth more than Mr. Gates...
     
  20. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #20
    Re: Off topic


    True dat, but it would be nice to have at least 1% of his wealth :)
     
  21. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #21
    Re: Re: Off topic

    what would that be? $520,000,000.00? I'd settle for 0.01%.
     
  22. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #22
    Re: Re: Re: Off topic


    Yea, I heard recently that if his current rate of return on investments continue he will be the worlds first trillionaire in 2030.

    That is sick.
     

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