Saturday, November 20, 2004

Iran and Chirac - Multipolarism versus Anti-Terrorism

Roger L. Simon has queued us to an interesting piece in Town Hall by Caroline B. Glick, the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. In it, among other things, Glick parses through the animadversions of French President Jacques Chirac on the Iran nuclear weapons program.

An excerpt below from the Town Hall post which originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post:

Speaking to British reporters on Monday, Chirac said, "Britain gave its support [to the US in Iraq] but I did not see much in return. I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favors." Chirac added that he had told Blair that his friendship with Bush could be of use if the US adopted the EU position on Israel and the Palestinians. Since Bush has refused to do so, Chirac argued, Bush has played Blair for a fool.

From these statements, two things about the European agenda become clear. First, by bringing Britain into the talks with Iran, the French have managed to ensure that the Americans, if they decide to do something about Iran's nuclear weapons programs, will be forced to act without British backing and at the expense of the British government, thus causing a serious fissure in the Anglo-American alliance. Straw's statement is breathtaking in that it shows that on the issue of Iranian nuclear weapons, the British prefer to see Iran gain nuclear weapons to having anyone act to prevent them from doing so.

Chirac's statement exposes, once again, France's main interest in international affairs today. To wit: France wishes only to box in the US to the point that the Americans will not be able to continue to fight the war against terrorism. The French do this not because they necessarily like terrorists. They do this because as Chirac has said many times, he views the central challenge of our time as developing a "multipolar" world. France's obsession with multipolarity stems from Chirac's perception that his country's primary aim is not to free the world from Islamic terror, but to weaken the US.
Chirac's words muddies the waters as to how the US may ally itself in the event of an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran. It also acts to further alienate liberal German and British citizens opposed to US intervention in the Middle East. In the end, Glick predicts the Brits will stand by the US.

Ah, but what to make of the French? French toast perhaps?

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