Le Worm does it again

posted at 10:54 am on September 19, 2006 by Bryan

Only France could manage to lose a war in which it did not fight.

Just ahead of the big Iranapolooza at the UN, France announced that it no longer supports sanctions against the Islamic Republic and that there is in fact now a split on the Security Council on the question of whether Iran has to freeze its enrichment programs as a precondition to entering talks. This abrogates France’s previous support for sanctions, and gives the Russians and Chinese an out on sanctions both clearly were reluctant to support. Like its backdoor support for Iraq in the run-up to that war, France’s move combined with its veto power on the UNSC all but guarantees that either a) Iran gets nuclear weapons, or b) there will be a nasty war to make sure that Iran doesn’t get nuclear weapons.

Why did France suddenly switch sides on such a dangerous question? Besides just wanting to wreck another US effort to deal with extreme Islamism and the proliferation of WMDs, it comes down to cowardice.

The French President is the first European leader to state publicly that a freeze by Iran is not a precondition for opening talks. The concession to Iran seems to be linked to events in Lebanon, where there had been concern that French soldiers may be targeted by Iran’s proxy militia, Hizbollah, over France’s previously hardline stance in the nuclear negotiations. (emphasis added)

It’s not at all clear even now who won the summer war. Israel is still reeling from the war’s inconclusiveness. Much of Lebanon is in ruins and its nascent democracy in danger of falling apart. Hez leader Hassan Nasrallah is planning a party to celebrate a victory so resounding he can’t come out of hiding long enough to attend. And Iran is out several thousand missiles that were fired, for the most part, ineffectively if you look at it from a purely military point of view.

Yet the Iranians now have France by the short hairs, because French troops are within shooting distance of Nasrallahs goons, and it’s clear to everyone that Nasrallah’s goons will fire if told to do so. This gives Iran an important wedge on the UNSC. That probably wasn’t the outcome the Iranians hoped to achieve when Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli troops and started launching those Khaibar missiles. But for the Iranians, it’s not a bad outcome. Not bad at all.

(h/t Stanley Kurtz)

Update: France becomes the first state sponsor of hostages to terrorism.

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it comes down to cowardice…

Isn’t that France’s national motto?

Corky on September 19, 2006 at 10:58 AM

Fool me 187 times shame on you. Fool me 188 times…shame on me.

Bush needs to announce an “axis-of-assholes” with France as the only member.

Whoever in this administration listens seriously to the French is an idiot.

Rosetta on September 19, 2006 at 11:14 AM

Félicitations Jacques, on becoming the first world leader to officially convert to Islam.


fogw on September 19, 2006 at 11:16 AM

France’s previously hardline stance

Am I hallucinating, or is the reporter?

Mark V. on September 19, 2006 at 11:29 AM

Ok, folks, let’s face the facts that france hasn’t had ANY citizens with courage since Napoleon got them all killed in his wars. What’s left of those brave few couldn’t spread their genes to the rest of the citizenry and now look at the result.

Michelle had a great idea and found the french embassy comments page and posted it. I regularly comment to them when I/they need it.


There it is, use it if you want, and thanks, Michelle.

Write them and say something nice like, “We’re kicking you off the UNSC and putting Japan (re-armed) in your place”.

Oh, yeah, I also comment in french, because like the people of Rio Lindo, I want them to get the message without them taxing their brains. They’re de-evolving from human beings.

tormod on September 19, 2006 at 11:31 AM

When asked about his disappointment at Carl Pavano’s inability to stay healthy and help the Yankees’ playoff push, Derek Jeter said the following (which sums up my assesment of France in the UNSC):

“If you aren’t expecting anything to begin with, there is no disappointment”.

Kid from Brooklyn on September 19, 2006 at 11:37 AM

How much more ‘gut ripping’ will America put up with from the UN and it’s destruct America memebers before the demolition arrives?

Spell UN? D-e-a-t-h t-o A-m-e-r-i-c-a-!

Speakup on September 19, 2006 at 12:14 PM

Victory for the Liberals!! I’m sure Mikey Moore, Babs, Meathead, Clooney, and Kos-kids all around the world are celebrating France’s stance – after all, isn’t France what the liberals in this country are hoping America becomes.

I guess it’s just another day at the UN.

Rick on September 19, 2006 at 12:29 PM

*sigh* Here we go again. The French are, have always been and as a culture are proudly duplicitous. Period.
The French think standing on both sides of an issue shows their great intellectual thought processes. Thinking and talking something to death instead of acting has doomed them to irrelevance. Today only reinforces that view.

La France, elle est un grandiose pouvoir non plus.. seulement dans son esprit

labwrs on September 19, 2006 at 12:37 PM

So this means France can now trade openly with Iran instead of through surrogates?

They may require some job re-training.

As long as the foie gras keeps coming it will be all right.

Chirac looks more and more like a truffle every day.

entagor on September 19, 2006 at 12:47 PM

From one (soon-to-be) Islamic Republic to another, what do you expect?

thirteen28 on September 19, 2006 at 1:05 PM

I am 100% sure I heard U.S. State Dept. spokesman Nicholas Burns answer a question about a month ago on this topic. It was around 22 August when Iran had given its answer to the western package of proposals and France and the rest of them were considering the response; he was asked what if the European countries (Germany, UK and FRANCE(!!!)) didn’t come through on sanctions.

He said that at the previous meetings there had been a clear committment given that sanctions were to be supported. It was, from what he said, clear and unambiguous.

If France backslides, I think it is time for the diplomatic gloves to come off…what I mean is that U.S. officials should name names, and divulge the true nature of the agreements made. To me it is irrelevant if they were made in confidence…the US (and the other countries in the group) took positions…and in some cases CHANGED positions based on the understandings and agreements mutually made. If France is now going to back out of its agreement, then citizens in democratic countries have a right to know what has happened.

Blaise on September 19, 2006 at 1:20 PM

You know Sarkozy was just in the US meeting with various “dignitaries”..wonder what side door to the White House he used? (Probably the same one Kennedy used to sneak in Marilyn Monroe.)
This could very well be the US strategy..bide time..buy time..until the govt in France changes hands and Sarky is President..THEN we see what can happen.

labwrs on September 19, 2006 at 1:39 PM

concern that French soldiers may be targeted by Iran’s proxy militia, Hizbollah

See what happens to France when it no longer has German soldiers in its army….

The Foreign Legion wouldn’t put up with it, but I guess they think they can side with Iran now then all claim to have been underground partisans later.

ScottG on September 19, 2006 at 1:49 PM

THIS IS GEORGE BUSH’S FAULT. PERIOD. France has proven that they are our ENEMY and we keep treating them like they are not. How long will the feckless IDIOT in CHIEF keep bending over and taking it up the arse? And while I’m thinking about it, why don’t the Republicans THREATEN JOHN MCCAIN the way the Dems do to keep their people in line? I’m sick of this bastard thinking that he’s the damned President.

Fool me once shame on you, FOOL ME FIFTY TWO TIMES, and that makes Bush an IDIOT. Chirac does it because he has the arrogant godlessness of the left lifting him up. So engaged are they in their quest to, NOT FIGHT ANYONE AT ANYTIME, FOR ANY CAUSE, that they blindly proclaim solidarity with genocidal maniacs. At what point Mr Bush does a SPADE become a goddamned SPADE?
Why not sanctions against France. Why not put them ON THE WATCH LIST? Because the Republican’s are a bunch of neutered lame asses, that’s why. Scared to fight liberals, scared to look racist, scared to offend rag heads terrorist bastards, the question now becomes, what use is the Republican Party….please enlighten me.

Soothsayer on September 19, 2006 at 3:02 PM

I share your frustration but PLEASE try to remember one very important thing: France has intel where we DO NOT.
The French intelligence agency has no qualms about helping the US everywhere they have influence: as in :Muslim/African countries. The French had BOMBS in their subways just a decade ago and they beefed up their intelligence as we didnt after the first WTT attacks..fear not feckless Chiraq..he is merely posturing..the real power there is helping us.

labwrs on September 19, 2006 at 3:26 PM

France’s move combined with its veto power on the UNSC all but guarantees that either a) Iran gets nuclear weapons, or b) there will be a nasty war to make sure that Iran doesn’t get nuclear weapons.

There really isn’t a diplomatic way to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. They, under this regime, would never accept any version of it.

Therefore, France sped up the path toward Bryan’s option b), above.

Soothsayer, I like you man and know which side you’re on, but your passions are running a bit high.

Trust that labwrs really hit the nail on its head when she answered you (and us, really). I also know for a fact that the US and France, and other EU nations have their heads of state pretend to ‘oppose’ each other, for whatever political, tactical, covert, etc. reasons. In reality we are getting enormous intelligence help from a variety of European countries.

On J. Chirac in specific, labwrs is right again – the guy hasn’t been in power for a while. He’s just there. Watch Sarkosi really closely. He’s extremely smart and has his head/mind in the right place. It’s time. Unfortunately we have to wait until 2007.

La grande nation – is grand no more…except in their imagination and reverie…

Entelechy on September 19, 2006 at 7:05 PM

Soothsayer, I feel your pain. Every time France pulls this cowardly crap, I almost wish we would have gone after Chirac instead of Iraq. However, with that being said, labwrs and Entelechy are right about what really goes on in the geopolitical landscape.

Rick on September 19, 2006 at 7:29 PM

Merci Mon Ami! :)

labwrs on September 19, 2006 at 11:16 PM

Good points by labwrs and Entelechy.

Yet the Iranians now have France by the short hairs, because French troops are within shooting distance of Nasrallahs goons, and it’s clear to everyone that Nasrallah’s goons will fire if told to do so. This gives Iran an important wedge on the UNSC.

It sounds like having France send troops into Lebanon has made this reversal of theirs come about. We would probably be better off if they never had volunteered to send in those troops.

EFG on September 19, 2006 at 11:36 PM

Indeed EFG. We would have been even better off if Israel had been able and been allowed to finish off Hezbollah for good. Inconclusive wars lead to dangerous outcomes.

As for Iran, it seems clear to me now that they’re going to go nuclear and we’re not going to stop them. Hope has become our plan–we’re going to hope that they don’t try to spark an apocalypse.

Bryan on September 19, 2006 at 11:44 PM