Friday, September 22, 2006

Jacques Chirac - saboteur of diplomacy

Most people have a perception of the French in world affairs, as being committed to peaceful, diplomatic and multilateral approaches to its foreign policy. This would probably be mainly due to the media's coverage in the leadup to the Iraq war. Chirac was repeatedly calling for "more negotiations" and saying that "war is always failure".

As America pressed on steadily with diplomatic efforts, sanctions and finally military invasion against Iraq, the French condemned the American approach for being too unilateral and how it shouldn't have gone forward without UN approval.. ironically France would vote against any UN security council resolution, so what they really meant is that no action should be taken against Iraq without France's approval.

Now let's look at France's influence on 2 of biggest issues under consideration by the UN in the past - the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the Iraq war. The Jerusalem Post has the following report which suggest France promised Saddam that they would oppose any UN actions against Iraq.

According to former Iraqi vice president Tareq Aziz, speaking to American and Iraqi interrogators from his prison cell, Saddam was convinced that the French and, to a lesser extent, the Russians would save his regime at the last minute.
Considering that Saddam was a crazed dictator, given an assurance from a UN security council member that war would not go forward, its clear that this assurance would embolden him to defy UN inspectors and American diplomatic efforts, thus forcing the coalition of the willing to form and use military force to remove him.

Going back to the days of camp david where Clinton hosted Barak and Arafat to work out a peace agreement, Chirac rang Arafat and told him not to accept the humiliating offer and walk away. Arafat returned home to incite terror and violence against Israel, and the intifada broke out and thousands of Palestinians and Israelis being killed and injured between 2001 and 2003.

So we have 2 examples of a malign French influence, where Chirac allies himself against the western nations, all to a detrimental and violent outcome. Chirac has also been known to associate with Robert Mugabe, Saddam Hussein and even attend a function in Beirut with Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader. And what a surprise that in most cases, western efforts at diplomacy with these people have failed miserably.

A lesson can be learned about its influence on, what is today, the biggest concern of the western world - Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
"There will be no war against Iran," Chirac is reported to have told a special emissary of the Islamic Republic who visited him in Paris last week. Anything other than negotiations would be resolutely opposed by France."
"Iran should not be asked to stop uranium enrichment as a precondition," Chirac said. "And there is no sense to refer the Islamic Republic back to the Security Council."
Now that Chirac has offered his guarantee that no action will be taken against Iran, what incentive does the crazed Islamo-fascist regime have to pursue diplomatic agreements with the West ?