Is It Different When France Does It?
By Andrew L. Jaffee, November 6, 2004
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9 French troops and a U.S. citizen were killed when Ivory Coast fighter planes bombed a rebel position in the north of that country. The French have hit back, destroying 5 Ivorian helicopters and 2 bombers near the capital city of Yamoussoukro. Ivorians aren’t happy with France’s reprisals. Angry mobs are rioting, looting French properties, and yelling “Everybody get your Frenchman!” and “French go home!” Well, well, well, isn’t France’s criticism of the U.S. Coalition presence in Iraq a bit like the pot calling the kettle black? Listen to the French government’s words, as reported by the BBC:
President Jacques Chirac ordered the "immediate destruction of Ivorian military aircraft used in recent days in violation of the ceasefire". …
Pretty strong words from a country that claims “France was against this [Iraq] war because this war was not necessary.” Is France’s presence in the Ivory Coast “necessary?” Are French “peacekeepers” in the Ivory Coast there strictly for humanitarian reasons, or do business interests play a part?
Mon ami, President Chirac, can you spell “Najaf,” “Sadr City,” or “Fallujah?” When U.S. sons and daughters get killed trying to bring democracy to Iraq, what should we do, sit on our hands? Your good buddy, Kofi Annan, is warning Americans not to clean up Fallujah just as you are cleaning up the Ivorian air force. Monsieur Chirac, vous êtes un hypocrite.
The U.S.’ reasons for going to war in Iraq were crystal clear. No WMD’s in Iraq? Some were found. The rest are probably in Syria, France’s traditional ally. Iraq weapons inspector David Kay found all sorts of evidence that Saddam was violating U.N. restrictions on WMD development. Kay's team found organic precursors for biological weapons. They found "suspected mobile biological agent laboratories." Kay's team found evidence that Saddam's goons were working on ballistic missile systems with ranges far in excess of the U.N.-mandated limits.
The French said they believed Saddam had WMDs before the war. The UN Security Council, including France, voted unanimously on 08/11/2002 to hold “Iraq in ‘material breach’ of its obligations under previous resolutions.” The same resolution “recall[ed] [a] repeated warning of ‘serious consequences’ for continued violations” by Iraq.
Well, Monsieur Chirac, you can just pound salt up your butt. President Bush just garnered the largest popular vote in U.S. history. The President received a real majority, 51% or 59,291,983 votes. We’ll do what we have to do, and we won’t ask anybody about passing a “global test” before we do.