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Friedman on France and the U.S.
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Tom Friedman points out what most others in the press have been afraid to: That France is not only not our ally, they are becoming an enemy.


If you add up how France behaved in the run-up to the Iraq war (making it impossible for the Security Council to put a real ultimatum to Saddam Hussein that might have avoided a war), and if you look at how France behaved during the war (when its foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, refused to answer the question of whether he wanted Saddam or America to win in Iraq), and if you watch how France is behaving today (demanding some kind of loopy symbolic transfer of Iraqi sovereignty to some kind of hastily thrown together Iraqi provisional government, with the rest of Iraq's transition to democracy to be overseen more by a divided U.N. than by America), then there is only one conclusion one can draw: France wants America to fail in Iraq.


This isn't simplistic France-bashing; this is reality. France obviously wants us to fail in Iraq, because it would then give them cause to say, "We told you so." If Iraq were a success, both politically and economically, France probably believes this would retroactively justify the war.

Friedman notes the effect the failure of Iraq would have on France:


What is so amazing to me about the French campaign "Operation America Must Fail" is that France seems to have given no thought as to how this would affect France. Let me spell it out in simple English: if America is defeated in Iraq by a coalition of Saddamists and Islamists, radical Muslim groups from Baghdad to the Muslim slums of Paris will all be energized, and the forces of modernism and tolerance within these Muslim communities will be on the run. To think that France, with its large Muslim minority, where radicals are already gaining strength, would not see its own social fabric affected by this is fanciful.


There is self-interest to consider, of course. But what about the effect on Iraqis? Isn't it pathetic to act in a way to bring about more misery for an already down-trodden and traumatized people? As Friedman points out, it is blatantly obvious that France does not have the best interest of the Iraqi people in mind. They are playing politics in the basest, pettiest sort of way.


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