France’s Bernard Kouchner is the founder of the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders. He served as Minister of Health (the ministry my French wife works for) in the last Socialist government. Here, courtesy of the Weekly Standard, are the key portions of Kouchner’s recent interview with Le Monde regarding Iraq:
“War is a very bad solution. But there’s something worse than war, and that’s leaving in place a dictator who massacres his people. I hope we can listen to the most important actors in this whole drama, the Iraqis who are suffering under this dictatorship.
[Toppling Saddam Hussein] is the main goal. By combining a military threat — which wouldn’t necessarily have to be carried — with diplomatic and public pressure, I think we could still come up wih a common front that would get Saddam Hussein out of there. For now, what’s keeping him there, what’s giving him aid and comfort, is the fact that we in the West are divided.
[France] broadened the rift in Europe rather than healing it. Yoking ourselves to German pacifists was a mistake (editor’s note — as this affair goes sour for France and Germany, look for them to start blaming each other). We bullied the Eastern European countries that are just emerging from their own dictatorships. That was a another mistake. And finally, we’ve opened up a big rift with the United States. I blame [President Chirac] for that [and the Socialists] too. The role of France, above all, is to involve itself where there are violations of the rights of man, and to fight dictatorships.”
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