The problem with the French fantasy is that we are letting them enjoy it at our expense.
The debate over Iraq, though, has been a special godsend. Seen through French eyes, the world is suddenly a wonderful place, at least for France: There is the United States, the rogue colossus. There is Tony Blair, America's poodle. There is Schroeder, impaled -- internationally if not domestically -- upon his unilateralist, "German way" pacifism. And then there is France, tougher-minded than the Germans, prouder and more independent than the British and, because of its seat on the Security Council, the only modern, civilized power in the world able to tame and civilize the American beast. It is a mission worthy of a great country.
Who would ever want to wake from such a dream? The real world of terrorists, tyrannical aggressors and weapons of mass destruction is a much less accommodating world for France than the legalistic, one-country, one-vote world of the Security Council or the postmodern paradise of the European Union. If the United States ever does invade Iraq, the French must either stand by helplessly or take their place by America's side, and that is not nearly as enjoyable.
The only possible benefit the US can gain from the extended dance with UN fools is that some part of the American populace is paying enough attention to the UN negotiations to dispel any illusions they might have about the UN and the so-called "international community". The US is not pursuing an aggressive stance toward Iraq for the sake of the glory of conquest or for some commercial gain. We are just trying to make the world safer for Western Civilization. That the French are willing to use their seat on the United Nations as they have been means we should say shame on them. That we are willing to let them get away with it means we should say to ourselves an even stronger shame on us.
By the way, has anyone else ever noticed that the United Nations is a totally Orwellian name for that organization? First of all, its members are not united about anything. Secondly, many of the member states are not really nation-states.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 November 04 05:46 PM UN, International Institutions|