Why Chirac wanted the Czechs to keep quiet

Martin Palous is the Czech ambassador to the United States. Unlike Monsieur de Villepin, the top French diplomat, Palous, to my knowledge, does not have a fabulous art collection, has run no marathons, and has published no books about poetry or Napoleon. However, he has one thing that de Villepin lacks — a moral compass. The title of this Washington Post op-ed, All Too Familiar With Dictators, may help explain where Palous acquired that compass. In any event, Palous and his fellow Czechs have ignored Jacques Chirac’s admonition to keep quiet, and have taken a stand with the United States and against the dictator of Iraq. As Palous explains, in a vocabulary beyond the range of the elegant de Villepin, Saddam’s totalitarian rule itself “is its own worst weapon of mass destruction, not only lacking any restraints on the things it will do to subdue the people within its borders but also emanating its own deadly sense of radiation on the world scene.”

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