March 10, 2003

The Paris-Washington Row Keeps Getting

The Paris-Washington Row Keeps Getting Nastier

While Dominique is galivanting about Africa, Jacques Chirac is considering making a trip over to NYC to potentially cast a veto in person. He is to give a nationally televised speech this evening so stay tuned. Meanwhile, Chirac's party is ratcheting up the anti-American rhetoric:

"Francois Baroin, spokesman for Chirac's UMP party, endorsed the idea of Chirac attending the Security Council session and thought he would not be alone in opposing the resolution backed by the United States, Britain, Spain and Bulgaria. "The presence of the French president seems to me quite opportune,'' he told LCI television. ``A veto is an extraordinarily important act, but France will not be alone.''Baroin said France's anti-war stand was based on respect for international law and was ``not that of the German pacifists, not Woodstock with a joint in one hand and talk of love all around.''

``We are faced with an American administration that is quite brutal,'' he added, picking out Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell for special criticism for what he said were their efforts to divide the United Nations.

``Rumsfeld is no choir boy and Powell, as respectable as he might be considering his service in the earlier Gulf war, is no altar boy either,'' he said.

Note that, even in a period of such Germano-Franco solidarity in glorious opposition to the Yankee hegemon, Barion still manages a swipe at the German "pacifists." Not to be confused with the force de frappe ever present in the rich martial traditions of France!

UPDATE: C'est non. Of course, they still hope they don't have to wield the first French veto against a U.S. resolution since Suez. That's why Dominique is rushing about Angola, Guinea and Cameroon. But this brawl just got a lot nastier.

And note this gem from the press conference: M. Chirac a affirmŽ qu'il n'y aurait Įpas de moyens militairesČ franais engagŽs en cas de guerre en Irak sans dŽcision de l'ONU, mais que le survol du territoire franais par les AmŽricains Įva de soiČ.

Paraphrase: If there is war, don't count on French troops (big surprise!) but the right of the U.S. airforce to fly over French territory "goes without saying." Gee, thanks! Guess Jacques doesn't like Saddam as much as Quadaffi.

Posted by Gregory at March 10, 2003 07:07 PM
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