The French are now saying that they will not support any UN resolution that authorizes military action against Iraq.
The joke’s on them – they already have.
Despite all the bluster from the French, UN Security Coucil Resolution 1441 clearly states that if Iraq does not meet the criteria for disarmament than the United States and Great Britain will initiate military action. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Iraqis are not cooperating with inspectors in any meaningful way, have lied on the weapons declarations, and are still developing weapons of mass destruction.
Yet the French still want to be obstinate and insist that they have the ability to veto any US military action in Iraq. What they forget is that we don’t give a damn about what they say. It is the height of international hubris to assume that Paris has any say on United States military policy. We’re not going to ask the UN for a second resolution because we don’t need one. If France thinks that they can stall US military action they’re only doing the political equivalent of trying to halt an avalanche.
The question remains: what is the real motivation behind this action? Why is France so opposed to this war? Is it kowtowing to the Greens or fear of radicalized Muslim insurgency in French cities. Or is it simple anti-Americanism.
While all three come into play, I have the sinking suspicion that something deeper is going on here. I think the French are very scared that when we go into Iraq, we will find evidence of collusion between the French and Iraqi government. I have the feeling that we’ll find a long history of French violation of UN sanctions and French technology fueling the Iraqi nuclear program. If so, the repercussions would likely be enormous. (Steven Den Beste has some thoughts of his own on this issue.)
One thing is for certain – this decision by the French has nothing to do with any high moral concerns. It is all about political expediency and ass-covering. This sort of French unilateralism only highlights the immense hypocrisy and obstructionism that has become a hallmark of Franco-American relations. The issue of Iraq is truly showing which states are allies of the United States – and France is not one of them.
UPDATE: Josh Chafetz also decries the French’s reckless unilateralism. The White House should hire him as a speechwriter. (Well, after they hire me of course…)