2002 November 04 Monday
Robert Kagan On The Fantasy France Is Living

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


Comments
Delph Wilson said at January 24, 2003 11:09 AM:

Ah, yes. Our good friends the French. Thay haven't been with us on anything for 40 years. Remember April 15, 1986?

I once asked my father why the French are so antagonistic to us. He said it's because they never forgave us for winning WWII for them.

boisseau du rocher sophie said at February 25, 2003 8:32 AM:

what kind of rules of the game is the United States teaching to the world ? What kind of solutions is it advancing ? "To make the world safer for Western civilization" is just an alibi: look at the Philippines, after 50 years of US colonization ! this kind of safe world for a corrupted elite is not, you will acknowledge, a convincing argument.
If I'm sure Chirac has not the solution, I'm convinced the one proposed by the Bush team would be a long term impasse for the next generations
A bientôt
Sophie


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