The matchless cynicism of the French

Tod Lindberg of the Washington Times debunks the latest line from France on why, in January, French policy on Iraq veered so sharply away from ours. The French are claimng that it was in January that they realized President Bush was hell-bent on going to war and would accept no diplomatic solution. Thus, they were obliged to oppose us. But, as Lindberg observes, by January it was clear that Saddam Hussein had utterly failed to comply with the U.N resolution the French had helped craft. Thus, all France had a right to conclude was that President Bush was hell-bent on adhering to the U.N. resolution. Unfortunately, this conclusion was sufficient to cause France to take a hard line anti-U.S. stance, since the French goal was never to enforce the U.N. resolution, but simply to use it to stall U.S. action and try to build a consensus against military action. In sum, French policy was at odds with that of the U.S. from the beginning. What happened in January was that France finally realized that it could not hijack our policy. And that’s when things turned ugly.

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