March 09, 2003

L'Afrique, C'est Moi! Dominique de

L'Afrique, C'est Moi!

Dominique de Villepin is off on an Africa tour! What a wonderful expenditure of French diplomatic resources (as opposed to, say, making a last go at coordinating with Colin Powell on achieving a more cohesive UNSC posture so as to increase the pressure on Saddam). Why is he embarking on this last minute "whistlestop" tour? Because the French will do everything in their power to avoid having the magic number of nine support the second resolution because they are terrified by the prospects of actually having to use the veto. Remember, this would be the first veto of a U.S. resolution by France since Suez in 1956. It's quite obviously not a common event. The U.S. Ambassador to France has already described a French veto as constituting "an unfriendly act," diplo speak not too far removed from describing a state of belligerence (amazing, isn't it?). And, as right-thinking French politicians like Bernard Kouchner have noted, such a veto would be, in essence, delivered on behalf of a genocidal leader.

In Kouchner's words when asked if he supports going to war in Iraq (aside from government service Kouchner is the founder of the well respected Medecins Sans Frontieres, the international NGO that sends medical personnel to conflict zones):

"Je dˇteste la guerre que je connais mieux que personne, depuis quarante ans. La guerre est une tr¸s mauvaise solution. Mais il y a pire qu'une tr¸s mauvaise solution, c'est de laisser en place un dictateur qui massacre son peuple. Je souhaite qu'on puisse entendre le plus important protagoniste de cette crise, le premier menacˇ : le peuple irakien qui subit la dictature."

Translation: "I detest war that I know better than anyone, for forty years. War is a very bad solution. But there is worse than a very bad solution which is leaving in place a dictator who massacres his people. I wish that we would hear of the most important protagonist in this crisis, those first threatened: the Iraqi people subjected to dictatorship."

Posted by Gregory at March 9, 2003 07:02 PM
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