I’m starting to think that President Bush has just pulled a fast one the Europeans.

It’s clear that the Administration wasn’t naive enough to think that the Europeans would start helping the reconstruction effort in Iraq after staking their entire reputations on opposing the war. The Europeans won’t sign any UN resolution that allows the US to meet the goals of bringing democracy to the the Iraqis. The Europeans want to return Iraq to the status quo where they can continue to steal from the UN Oil for Food program and to hell with the Iraqi people. Any solution that produces a win for the US is a solution that Europe will instinctively reject.

After reading Steven Den Beste’s typically cogent thoughts on the matter I’m starting to lean towards the theory that there’s more at work here than what appears.

The answer is that in the past we’ve helped many of those nations, and in future they may again want our help. When that time comes, how do they want us to remember them based on how they acted when we were in a crisis and asked them for their help? If Australia or the UK ask for our help, they’ll get it. If France asks for our help, the result may not be quite the same. How do nations such as India, Mexico and Turkey really want us to think of them five or ten years from now? Is this issue truly important enough to justify alienating us?

Apparently they seem to think so. Either it’s because they’ve misjudged the risk, or because they see something in the current situation which looms large. I think most of them are making a big mistake, and I think the governments of a lot of nations out there are going to come to regret it. If we succeed in spite of them, and there’s a good chance of that, they’ll have sacrificed much and gained nothing.

That is exactly the point. France and Germany are hoping that the reconstruction of Iraq is a failure. They’re already gloating over the "failures" of the US in Iraq (link is in French, use a French-to-English translator to get the jist of it and a Weasel-to-English dictionary to really understand it.)

But what if Iraq isn’t such a miserable failure? What if the US actually succeeds in creating a free Iraq without the UN?

In that case, France and Germany are caught with their dicks in their hands (there’s a mental image enough to make one retch…). They’ve just spend months gloating about the failure of the US, only to find that everything they’d been saying has been proven to be crap. They’ve also completely destroyed the reputation of the UN. The US can say that they took care of Saddam and rebuilt the country with the UN acting as a hindrance rather than help, so why bother using the UN ever again? If the UN is going to be the Dictators and Weasels Social Club, what’s the point?

If the Euroweasels were at all smart, they’d be far better off to take Colin Powell’s deal and have a foothold from which to extract further concessions from the US. They’re not going to get what they want in one fell swoop, and demanding everything and the kitchen sink now is simply idiotic.

But that’s exactly what was expected of them. This UN resolution is clearly a dodge, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure that this is exactly what anyone would expect to happen. We knew going into this that France and Germany would shoot us down immediately. Which means that President Bush can say that he tried the UN route and the UN wouldn’t deal – it plays well at home for him politically, and leads the Axis of Weasels straight into a nice corner.

It seems to me that there’s a game of rope-a-dope being played with the Euroweasels, the results of which benefit the US in the end. Granted, I could be wrong on this, and this could be a losing bet. However, given what’s actually going on in Iraq, the situation is nowhere near as chaotic as its been made to be. The resistance in Iraq is growing more desperate, and the Iraqis are already taking more and more of the burden of basic policing duties from the US. The situation in Iraq is far more likely to get better than to get worse, and in the end, it is the UN and the Axis of Weasels that are getting the losing end of this deal.

UPDATE: On the other hand Spoons thinks I’m completely nuts. So here’s the deal, if I’m wrong on this and Bush is seriously trying to suck up to the weasels, I will bash the living hell out of him for it. If he makes more than a symbolic compromise, I will consider it a major breach of trust.

27 thoughts on “Rope-A-Dope

  1. It’s supposition.

    Then again, if I’m wrong on this, the Bush Administration has made a major tactical mistake. Perhaps I’m being too optimistic, and if the Bush Adminstration starts backing down on this, I’ll be first in line to bash the hell out of him for it.

  2. This kind of thing breaks my heart, Jay, honestly. We’ve heard variations on this rope-a-dope theme SOOOO many times, and every single time, it’s been proven wrong. That never seems to matter to people who are committed to supporting Bush at all costs.

    Hell, when Bush spent 15 months begging for U.N. support in going to Iraq, his defenders claimed that he was just doing it so that the fecklessness of the U.N. would be clear to all, and we wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore. That clearly proved incorrect. Yet now you think he’s doing it again? Why aren’t you bashing him for last time.

    Bush has done this in numerous other circumstances, too. Remember how he claimed that the U.S. wouldn’t deal with the Palestinians until they elected “new leaders not compromised by terror”? Then, when Bush almost immediately went back to meeting with the Palestinians, and subsequently released the asinine “Road Map”, the rope-a-dope crowd insisted, “See, he’s just trying to prove that the Palestinians don’t want peace.” Of course, in the mean time, the Palestinian election (that was supposed to take place last January) got cancelled, Arafat’s still in place, and we’re still begging him to pretty please help reign in the terrorists.

    What bugs me about the rope-a-dope theory is that it’s designed to be non-falsifiable. When Bush does something that looks bound to fail, if it ends up working out okay (whether through luck or otherwise), people say, “Bush is a genius.” If, on the other hand, it crashes and burns, the rope-a-dopers say, “Bush meant to do that to prove a point.”

    It reminds me, honestly, about how the Clinton supporters blamed all of Clinton’s problems on a “vast right wing conspiracy.” Now, Bush supporters just say, “It’s all part of his secret plan.” Same diff. I wish voters on either side of the aisle would just demand a little accountability from their leaders.

    End of rant (sorry, this stuff really gets me crazy)

  3. This is a desperate attempt by an embattled conservative commentator (make that two embattled conservative commentators) to imply some justification for being completely wrong about everything in regards to the war in Iraq.

    “It must be a criminal mastermind conspiracy….there must be a method to the madness of a President who has just squandered decades of global diplomacy and now must plead for handouts from the same people he called useless and irrelevant six months ago.” I sure hope this theory gets some broad exposure because it will make Howard Dean look so much better in the eyes of the American voter in comparison to the empty-headed degenerates who supported the crafting of a third-rate wartime policy and are now desperately searching for justification after its wholesale failure.

    As a direct result of Bush’s arrogance, the US’s days of strongarming allegiance to idiotic policy through the sort of influence peddling you and Den Beste fantasize about are likely to be approaching their swan song. If France and Germany were really smart, they would help to directly fund and empower the terrorists, taking advantage of America’s current self-destruction and incompetent leadership by prolonging the slaughter in Iraq and long as humanly possible. With the entire world despising America, our financial integrity brutally weakened by suffocating debt, the impending loss of vital industries to our national security which are being permitted to evaporate due to narrow-minded global trade policy, and our unilateral presence in a major military conflict in Iraq, our political enemies and economic competitors have a perfect formula for crushing America under the weight of its own inflated head, and I wouldn’t doubt if it happens.

    In the meantime, however, I encourage all the conservatives to continue making these conspiracy theories about how Bush really does know what he’s doing, but he’s just pretending that the Iraq situation is completely out-of-hand to trick France and Germany. The longer such idiocy is coming from the mouths of the right (as opposed to their usual idiocy), the greater the likelihood that the adults (i.e. Democrats) can return to the White House in 2004 and possibly salvage what’s left of this country before Bush completely destroys it.

  4. Well, in the case of Iraq the rope-a-dope strategy was true – we went in without UN backing and made our own coalition. The UN lost their oil-for-food racket, they lost the chance to influence policy in Iraq, and they lost the American people.

    Now, if Bush hadn’t gone into Iraq because of the UN, again, I would be calling for his head.

    The same applies here. If this strategy crashes and burns, and I’ll admit that’s a possibility, I will admit I’m wrong, and I will hold the Bush Administration to account for their mistake.

    On the other hand, the evidence fits the case. I simply can’t believe that the Bush Administration would honestly expect the weasels to go along with this resolution. They had to have known that they’d get this reaction, which leads me to believe that they intended this outcome.

    If they didn’t, and I’m wrong on this, then I’ll gladly excoriate Bush for making a massive mistake. Until then, I’m willing to give this the benefit of the doubt for now.

  5. why don’t you stop using this “euroweasel” thing. You sound as stupid as the guy using “sissy” for Bush and the US army.

    This is a bad diplomatic mistake. You may be angry at what we say, but then, stop whining on the death of american soldiers and beg for help.what kind of help can you get from weasels?

    just be democratic, and accept that some people may not think the same as you!

  6. You’re far more likely to find real and substantive debate in the pages of a conservative magazine like National Review than in the increasingly intolerant and rabidly partisan left.

    You probably meant the “reconstruction” further to US unilateral, illegal, unnecessary destruction caused to Iraq & the death brought to its people.

    The US double standards so cynically applied to Iraq from 1980 on has led this devastated country to be methodically ransacked by the US: blood, lives, hopes, oil, money, prosperity…

    That wanton assumption is so surreal…
    Cynicism will inevitably epitomise the quintessence of a rogue Sate. Look at your country’s late achievements in relation with Iraq: illegal murdering, brainwashing, lack of casus belli, gross lying, Francophobia, blatant incompetence…
    Now you’re starting a kind of desperate witch-hunting just because you feel self-entitled to quibble about others’ alleged flaws.
    Pathetic to the core.

    Absolutely no chance she will ever. Don’t worry: we don’t need you. And remember one thing: you’ll never be able to repay the immense debt you owe us, that your very existence as an independent nation.

    For “the reconstruction of Iraq” is ALREADY a thundering failure, neither France nor Germany do harbour any feeling close to what you’d be delighted to stigmatise –that is Schadenfreude.

    Now you’re adding insult to irrelevance. Look at your own country first: its behaviour has been disapproved of by the overwhelming majority of UN-members, and it still hasn’t paid the huge dues in arrears it owes the World Community, the Organisation of the United Nations.
    Your lack of sang froid & impartiality is second to none, weren’t it perhaps for FoxNews.

  8. If the only response you can come up with to a charge is to try and attack the other side, you’ve made a tacit acknowledgement of failure. That is the problem with France as it slides into Third World status (say with the death of over 10,000 people due to an inflexible socialist health care system and lack of adaquate living conditions) the only response they have is that "America is so terrible, America is evil" and a media so horribly biased it’s little better than al-Jazeera.

    There’s an old English phrase "those in glass houses should not throw stones". The French are standing the shattered remains of their glass house constantly trying to throw stones at the US. The fact is, all the accusations, lies, and innuendo won’t save France from its own economic, social, and political collapse.

  9. Jay,

    I can’t decide if you’re amusing or pathetic.

    What I can clearly identify is the ackward position the USA is now in -to say the least. In 2 years’ time, everything has changed. The US has lost its victim status. It’s now perceived as a mendacious rogue State, which it is.

    Look at the third-world country you call France. It has won a superb victory over the USA. Your decline isn’t nigh. It started in 2001, just before 11 September, with a certain electoral rape…

    Now the question you didn’t ask overtly and which lies dormant somewhere in your skull: “Why don’t they love us?”.

    Answer: “because the World realise they’d be better off without you”.

    You can afford to lose every bit of support left, can’t you? Suggestion: keep up the pace!

    Good luck.

  10. If you think the world would be better off without the US, then you’re ignorant beyond all belief.

    Here’s what the London Telegraph had to say about your economy:

    By telling the EU where to go on deficits, M Chirac is telling his citizens that France’s problems and recovery are now their own to deal with. No foreign entity can be held responsible – unless you count America, whose economic recovery is being prayed for fervently by the French.

    For good reason, as without our market (the largest in the world) your economy would collapse.

    Not only that, without the United States, you’d be speaking German right now.

    Oh, and remember Bosnia? Whose forces won that war for you?

    The only thing that France is world-class in right now is petulance. We can do without France, but don’t think for a second that you can do without us. As they say over here, we’ve got you by the balls…

  11. Jay, I love you. here is your quote!!! A simple copy-paste, I didn’t changed a single line:

    “If the only response you can come up with to a charge is to try and attack the other side, you’ve made a tacit acknowledgement of failure. That is the problem with France “….

    You must be very nervous, because I don’t think that is the kind of rethorical mistake you’re use to make!!

    “We can do without France”
    You surely can. But that would mean do without the UN as well.

  12. You surely can. But that would mean do without the UN as well.

    That’s rather the point.

    The UN does a lot of good things (UNESCO, UNICEF) but it also an agency that cares more for pandering to dicatators than ridding the world of them. The UN serves its own interests above human rights and world peace and should be completely reformed or abolished.

  13. Sorry Jay, that you have to argue from both sides here.

    By the way, you might want to think twice about including UNESCO as a “good thing” that the U.N. does (I’d argue that UNICEF isn’t great either, but that’s a tangent).

    You write:
    “Well, in the case of Iraq the rope-a-dope strategy was true – we went in without UN backing and made our own coalition. The UN lost their oil-for-food racket, they lost the chance to influence policy in Iraq, and they lost the American people.”

    That’s not true. The rope-a-dope argument was that we would try to get the U.N. to help, they would refuse, and the U.N. would thereby be demonstrated to be useless and we wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore.

    Instead, what happened is we tried to get the U.N. to help, for fifteen months (at who knows what cost of WMDs being smuggled out of the country), and still we have to go begging back to the U.N. for help. And still they’re as obstructionist as ever.

    What exactly did going to the U.N. accomplish the first time? What did our 15 months buy us? How are we better of vis a vis the U.N. than we would have been if we’d asked them once, given them a week to decide, and then went into Iraq on our timetable?

  14. The problem is that the Bush Administration can’t just tell the UN to kiss off quite yet – as much as I’d love that to happen. Doing that would have been political suicide domestically, and it would have meant that we would have lost what international support we had.

    Not only that, but doing so would have been disastrous for Tony Blair – it would have been enough for him to lose power.

    Going to the UN gave us time to get our forces into position, time for the psyops campaign to work (which it did brilliantly), and it gave our allies the political cover they needed.

    Granted, I’d love to see the UN go the way of the League of Nations, but forcing the issue would have compromised the mission and hurt the war effort.

    In the end, the UN didn’t get anything – they didn’t stop the war, they didn’t get their oil-for-food bribes back, France didn’t get its oil contracts honored, the UN doesn’t have more than a token presence in Baghdad, and Kofi Annan isn’t running the show.

    The UN continue to be irrelevant, and this latest round of diplomatic feinting seems to be just another way of demonstrating that fact – and this may be the beginning of the US finally pulling out of the UN.

  15. instead of the UN, what do you want?
    bilateral agreements between the US and every single State (that could not really get an honnest deal against the only super-power)?

    The League of Nations wasn’t successful, because the US were not part of it. If you want the US to pull out of the UN, you’ll have to face the consequences of having no real international discussion body left. Quiting the UN has proved to be a very bad diplomatic move when the USSR tried this strategy…(“empty chair policy” in french).

    the international situation is now to the point where ending the discussion would be terrible. all legitimacy would be lost. France and Germany agreed the last resolution over Irak. This is an evidence that they’re willing to come up with a solution. Any solution would not do. The logic wants that a country can only submit international plans to the UN, not just a national desire.

    the worldwide sympathy from 9/11 is gone.Why so? Because to fight against the world terror, the US didn’t give the right answer. If you want the US secured, you’ll need to have the world secured. But as cultures can be very different, you may want to plan this with all countries involved, instead of just one telling how to to the others.Afghanistan is not really in a peacefull, democratic and clear way to something else than what it was before th US cleaned it almost 2 years ago.


    SUPERFICY (Mio km2)
    USA = 9,63
    France (including overseas départements) + Germany = 0,99 (10 % of the USA).

    POPULATION (Mio inhab)
    USA = 288,4
    France + Germany = 143,8 (50 % of the USA).

    DENSITY (inhab/km2)
    USA = 30
    France + Germany = 145 (5 times US density).

    IMPORTS + EXPORTS AS TO MEASURE TRADE VOLUME (billion dollars – 2001)
    USA = 1.911
    France + Germany = 1.712 (90% of the USA)
    World: 12.596.

    TRADE INTENSITY (figures above per capita – dollars/inhab)
    USA = 6.626.
    France + Germany = 11.905 (180% of the USA).

    PRODUCTIVITY (GDP per person employed – dollars)
    France = 62.820
    USA = 61.830 (98 % of France)
    Germany = 59.720 (95 % of France)
    UK = 47.990 (76 % of France)

    01 France
    18 UK
    37 USA

    03 France
    14 UK
    24 USA
    France = 0,49
    Germany = 0,32 (65 % of France)
    UK = 0,26 (53 % of France)
    USA = 0,11 (22 % of France)

    US GDP amounted to more than 50 % of the World GDP in 1945. Now it’s 20 %.

    US trade deficit is chronically getting higher & higher: from 100 billion dollars in 1990 up to 450 in 2000 (83 billion dollars with China, 68 with Japan, 60 with the EU, 38 with Mexico, 13 with South Korea, 5 with Israel, 4 with Russia & 1 with Uktaine…).

    The US owed 1.600 billion dollars to the World in 1999.

    Airbus outperforms Boeing.

    The list is endless.

    PS : France (21% of the population of the USA) is the 4th largest economy in the World. Germany (29 %) is the 3rd.

  17. To borrow a quotation from Mark Twain: "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics".

    Notice that all these factors are irrelevent to relative economic performance. Of course you’re going to see a small country have a higher intensity of trade – France and Germany have to import more goods because they don’t have the area nor the natural resources of the US.

    Also, the industrial statistics are equally misleading. Aerobus depends on high levels of government subsidy that Boeing doesn’t and still only overtook Boeing recently and only because of the worldwide slowdown in the aviation sales market in which even small contracts have a higher relative value.

    Moreover, if you think France’s health care system is the best in the world, I can think of about 11,000 reasons why that’s a load of crap. Take a look at the meat lockers in Paris that had to be converted to morgues because the French socialized medicine system couldn’t cope with heat-related injuries.

    The fact is that France is in a state of impending social and economic catastrophe due to massive increases in government spending, an ossified and inefficient labor market, falling birth rates, and increasing immigration. Within a century there won’t be a France, at least as it exists now.

    United States – #6
    Germany – #19
    France – #40

    United States – $37,600
    Germany – $32,765
    France – $29,983

    US with France and Germany: ~8% (4.1% Germany 3.9% France)
    France with US – 8.7%
    Germany with US – 10.6%

  18. Iegor Gran a quelque chose propos sur ce suject dans Libé hier:

    « France, exception culturelle? Pays de liberté? Mes choses! France, pays de jalousie et de trouille, rongée par le complexe d’infériorité, petite nation de petits conformismes! France, qui agite sa déclaration des droits de l’homme comme une amulette, monarchie bovésienne, consternante de bonne conscience tissue de chauvinisme! »

    France est un pays de l’haine anti-américaine avec des intellos faux comme Frédéric Beigbeder et Thierry Meyssan.

    « Qu’est-cd que la France, je vous le demande? Un coq sur un fumier. Otez le fumier, le coq meurt. »

  19. who is this guy: Iegor Gran???
    never heard of this guy.
    there are plenty of jokes you can make with the roaster and the pile of shit, but this one isn’t making any sense.sorry.(« Qu’est-cd que la France, je vous le demande? Un coq sur un fumier. Otez le fumier, le coq meurt. »)


    just in case you don’t remenber, Europe did not wait for the US to exist. the opposite is true.
    Instead of comparing the US with France and/or Germany, go for the EU. We just came toghether, so we may not be actually better in economics, but for social stuff, the US are ranked with African countries.

  20. “for social stuff, the US are ranked with African countries”

    And for human rights, the USA ranks with North Korea, China & Saudi Arabia: death penalty, imprisonment rate, official racism, poverty rate, crime rate…

  21. Au fait, “french dissident”: apprends le français d’abord, ramène ta fraise ensuite.

    Tu fais 600 fautes par phrase, sans compter ta syntaxe qui est inexistante.

    Va à l’Alliance Française: on y donne des cours de FLE (français langue étrangère). Tu en as rudement besoin.

    En attendant, tu peux fermer ta grande gueule ou l’ouvrir dans ta langue de collabo.


  22. Iegor Gran wrote the satirical novel NGO (ONG in French).

    It took me a while to realize what a “fumier” was. However, once I got it, that has to be the single most apt image of modern France I’ve yet seen. A rooster crowing on a dunghill – the perfect metaphor for the French today.

    Of course, if you think that the United States is just as bad as Saudi Arabia, you’re quite welcome to go to Saudi Arabia and try to speak out against the government. Try going to North Korea and doing the same. You would certainly find a far more hostile reception than if you did the same in the United States.

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