Is this too little, too late?
After years of shunning involvement in a war it said was wrong, France now believes it may hold the key to peace in Iraq, proposing itself as an “honest broker” between the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions.
The shift was one of the most concrete consequences yet of the thaw in French-American relations following the election in May of President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose administration no longer feels bound by the adamant refusal to take a role in Iraq that characterized the reign of his predecessor, Jacques Chirac.
During a three-day visit to Baghdad that ended Tuesday, the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said that the time had come for France, and Europe, to play a greater role in Iraq.
“I believe this is the moment. Everyone knows the Americans will not be able to get this country out of difficulty alone,” Kouchner told the French radio station RTL on Tuesday before returning to Paris. “I really believe that depending on what happens here it will change the world.”
“This is about having an opinion and knowing what positive things one can do and what role France can play in this region,” he said, adding that Iraq was “expecting something” from France.
The United States broadly welcomed Kouchner’s visit to Baghdad this week, saying it was evidence that the world was increasingly intent on bringing stability to Iraq. British and German diplomats also hailed greater French involvement in the country.
Perhaps greater international involvement might bringa measure more stability to the region, although it is hard to imagine how anything the French do can make up for the looming British withdrawal.
The Other Steve
Weee weee, wooo woo… The France have to come to bail out the Republicans.
Aww, the irony of the freedom fry
Oh, the French love this idea…coming into the rescue the Americans and proving they are the world power that the American Right says they are not. It would be beautiful to see the nutters reaction to France brokering a peace! Maybe Michelle Malkin could start calling French Fries “Peace Fries.”
The Right will dust off the Marquis de Lafayette and write masturbatory paeans of hope for loads of Légion étrangère types to be deployed to “Teach those Hajis a lesson they’ll never forget”.
Lamentably, the last time France became diplomatically and militarily involved with a majority-Muslim nation was in Algeria and we all know how well that turned out.
Maybe the French learned something from their previous experiences in the region and with imperial ambitions worldwide.
Don’t forget, they were leaving Big Muddy when we decided to move in. 58,000 dead Americans later we left too.
Maybe those “Cheese-eating surrender monkeys” are smarter than we thought.
The french are nothing but a bunch of woosies. Half wimp. Half pussy.
You’re just saying that because you want the commie-lammo-fascists to win. Take a look at France right now. It’s absolutely overrun with crazy muslim terrorists, rioting in their streets, taking their jobs, and drinking from the wrong water fountains. Is that what you want?
Well, it looks like al-Maliki is telling us to go fuck ourselves…
So why are we there again, losing our soldiers’ lives and spending billions weekly? And in case any of you think that Democrats or “liberals” have a better answer…
Oh, yeah, let’s just go back to Square One and start this whole thing over again… /sigh.
What a mess.
If France wants to don the White Knight costume and come riding in with anything, ANYTHING, that will somewhat satisfy the Iraqis and allow us to walk away, we need to welcome them with… what’s the phrase… “flowers and candy”.
Not to be too blunt, but what the fuck are the Frogs gunna do that the Brits cannot?
I agree with timb. The Right is going to blow their collective wad if/when Louis and Pierre can get in there and turn shit around.
The right wing would rather see 50,000 dead US soldiers than see the French help out.
Mike S, its childish bullshit like that that has your country in the mess it is now. You’re a fucking moron.
Yup, like I’ve been saying…we should leave and let them to their own devices.
Yes, I want France to have those problems. Better them than us.
Forget? Hell if the history is right the initial american troops in country were there because the U.N. was helping cover the french getting out, and trying to keep things from becoming utter chaos (think OH THE HUMANITY). Later on we had to fight them there or else we’d be fighting them here and blah blah blah.
“Yup, like I’ve been saying…we should leave and let them to their own devices.”
Cassidy, how long are you saying that? Cos if it just since your pathetic fantasy of punishing random muslims by invading Iraq went sour, then you should stfu.
Not sure what you mean exactly; a little is lost in the translation.
But I’ve been saying for a long time we should leave. I had nothing to do with invading Iraq. But my experiences being deployed there have shown me that our prescence is a waste of time and American lives. we should leave and elt them build their own country. If they fall into civil war, that’s their issue.
Especially after the sentiments of the quote; we are propping up what little government they have. So, yes, we have every right to expect progress on a timetable and if they don’t like it, then we should leave and let them handle their own business.
You know exactly what I mean. Do you think its wrong to invade countries that haven’t attacked or threatened you? Or is it only wrong when it goes pear shaped? You know, like drunk driving?
And don’t bother dropping in your service history to the debate, Im not American, I don’t idealise the military.
Not really. Not intending insult (by translation, I meant over text), but if I don’t understand your accusation or statement, I can’t address it.
I don’t think war is wrong, in general. Of course there are many more available solutions that are preferable, but sometimes war is a necessary evil. This war in particular was wrong in many ways, but I’m not about to debate the morality of it. Invading a country whether it’s threatening or not has the same result. The only difference is that people can wrap themselves in good-guy, feel-good words if they beleive we had a reason.
No, I don’t know. I have no clue what you’re intending to convey here.
Yawn…okay, so you don’t idealize the military. That’s nice. But are you seriously suggesting that my actual experiences in Iraq are worth less than your percieved notions? That’s a slightly ignorant stance.
Sometimes, if you look beneath all the bullshit and bluster, Cassidy makes sense.
Maliki, I admit, is stuck in a crap position. But when he says No Time Tables for You, it pisses me off no end. If he would just say “No way, you broke it, you stay here until it’s fixed,” that would at least be honest, but the fact is, the people catching hot metal aren’t the ones who broke it, they just happened to be in the wrong place (enlisted) when their C-i-C looked in the mirror and the reflection morphed into Aryan Jesus who said “Yea verily. Go forth and kick some Iraqi ass, even if you have to lie to do it. Heh.”
Plus I keep hearing hints that Maliki becomes conveniently blind when he sees his pals engaged in milita type activities. WTF?
And then I read my Odom, who says: Yes, this entire venture was based on a lie; yes, we opened the door to AQI; yes, people are going to die when we pull out, but our continued military presence is making it worse for us and the Iraqis. And shut up about them “following us home.”
Odom’s saying we (even people who feel the occupation is wrong but we ought to do something to make it better) want a bad action without a bad consequence and we’re not going to get it because real life doesn’t work that way. There is no reset button on this game and people talking about new surges and more soldiers are trying to get just that.
So Maliki should be allowed to make his own friends, forge his own deals, even if it is with people unfriendly to the US (like there are many who are friendly these days) and the soldiers should get the fuck out of the way while he does it. Of course, he knows that the pResident isn’t going anywhere because the oil revenues from Iraq [deep guffaws] are supposed to pay for his crusade [more guffaws].
Normally I would expect Bush to leap at the chance to let France take the lead, fix everything up and then declare a US victory. But who then is the hero to the Iraqi people and who will have first dibs on deals for crude? Will he want it to be the French, even if they are BFF now? Mais non!
Bush is like a crooked carpenter who never took a woodshop class He figured that all that all those machine screws he had on hand would be just as good as nails for framing a house. (They’re both made of metal and are pretty much the same shape, right?) Now, after watching him hammering away on these screws for four years, the guy with the hot glue gun thinks maybe he can get that thing stood up.
So Sarkozy wants to become the new Tony Blair? That’s funny. He might want to ask Tony how the ride is when you hitch your wagon to a retard.
Well it’s about damned time the frenchies helped us after we covered their retreat in Vietnam and liberated them from the nazi’s they owe us!
I majored in History with a minor in Poli Sci, and I’ve been reading quite a bit about the Middle East for several years and so far all I’ve learned about Iraq is that it is one seriously fucked-up place.
We’ve had people over there running things that know less than I do and I don’t know shit.
The Sunni/Shia conflict is only one of the problems. When they aren’t fighting each other, they start fighting amongst themselves.
I’ve tried to think of a situation analogous to Iraq and the only one that comes to mind is the former Yugoslavia.
Ancient hatreds based on religious, ethnic and/or national identities that were kept in check by a repressive regime.
Remove the repressive government, people start killing each other like zombies in a George Romero movie.
If we can’t even figure why they’re killing each other, how are we supposed to stop them? Saddam was evil and brutal, but his killing was retail, now the whole place is going on a wholesale killing spree like a murderous Costco.
Some of these hatreds date back to when the world was still flat and the sun revolved around the Earth.
There are no good answers to the problem, only bad and worse.
If the French think they can help, let them try.
We don’t. They’ve been whacking each other since Mohammed died, all because they couldn’t figure out who was gonna be the next “Pope”. Yes, that’s simplified, but that’s also what it boils down to.
But on to bigger and better things…we have no obligation to discovering why and doing something about it. It is not our problem. If they want to kill each other to a man, let them have at it. hell, we can give the empty space to the Palestinians and settle that problem. It isn’t our problem. Humans are humans and will find a reason to kill one another no matter what. It is not our place to try and stop them.
Just read your “looming British withdrawal” link. Couple of things I also noticed…
Welcome to a little piece of Bush America heaven.
Well, now there you have it. While the good general may support his troops, he just can’t see the bigger picture. Like our storied Decider Man who has proudly proclaimed a proposed 3.5% increase for our military would ruin the country. He’s got his veto pen locked and loaded. Why does Gen Dannatt hate Britain so much?
Cassidy, you’re amoral. I wish there was a hell for you to go to.
Peace, love, adn wishing people who don’t think like you do can go to hell…
Gotta love that liberal mindset.
We’re just learning from your side….
I’m not sure if all this venom and hate came from democrats…
As a relatively recent expat who moved to France in 2005, I get the sense from reading my local rag and talking to people here that Kouchner is a well-meaning idiot, sort of like Jimmy Carter, but with less cred, and the ruling party is dead set against any military adventure in the ME — they have their hands full with Africa, right now.
So my feeling is that the French are mouthing pious words, a kind of “We told you so” wrapped in good intentions, but will do little.
I also wonder (but that’s just me) if they’re not using Iraq as a diplomatic bargain chip in some kind of game with the Russians. Russia has lots of energy Europe wants. No one give a shit about the US.
Lupin is absolutely right. Kouchner, while he did good when he founded Medecins Sans Frontieres, was eventually booted from the organization for being a pompous ass.
The man is a grand-standing schmuck, France’s version of Joe Lieberman, who realized early on that the best way to command attention was to be the “Leftist” (sic) who was always trotted out on schedule to criticize the “Left.”
For god’s sake, the man voted for Sarkozy, the most abominable French president since Petain. He is part of the execrable trend of the so-called “Nouvelle Philosophes,” a “movement” that inclues other nullities such as Bernard Henri-Levy (BHL) and Alain Finkielraut.
His appointment as Foreign Minister was pure cynical showmanship by Sarkozy. The man is a pawn.