France looking for "big role" in rebuilding Iraq

Look, it’s not about the fucking oil, no matter how hard the fucking leftists keep shouting it, it’s not getting any truer. And if you insist on believing them anyway, I’ve got a harmless blunt to pass your way, but please take the violent moodswings outside, k?

What it IS about is two things: One, S(hit)H(ead) is dangerous, cannot be dealt with diplomatically (or 12 years is just too short a time period for diplomacy to fucking work?), he supports terrorists (including giving thousands to the families of suicide bombers, and quite likely less well-known ties to Al-Qaeda. Two, the Iraqi people are being oppressed, tortured and murdered under his regime, so since we’d rather be without him too, it serves both us and the Iraqi people to dispatch his ass off to the 7th layer of whatever hell he believes in.

By the way, overthrowing a dictator is not cheap, and France has been extremely unsupportive of the whole operation, so if there’s anything to be recouped in the rebuilding of Iraq, why should the money go to them rather than the countries who shelled out their hard-earned tax dollars to free these people. Iraq cannot recover from decades of decay on its own, outside help is going to be needed, so why not let the country who spent so much freeing them recoup some of their/our losses? In the end, it benefits both.

I mean, that’s like a friend saying “I told you not to waste your money on that lottery ticket, gambling is evil… and why aren’t you giving me any of that money?”

That’s exactly what I’m talking about. The US administration is arguing that it’s going to war because it Has To, not because it wants to reap benefits. If the US were really at war to defeat Saddam or for some other humanitarian purpose, it wouldn’t care who reconstructed Iraq so long as it was reconstructed to the best benefit of the Iraqis.

Morrigoon, your lottery analogy is as stupid as your assertaion that a blunt causes violent mood swings. Fuck I wish I was high right now, so I could fucking mellow out.

A better analogy would be a friend telling you not to beat the shit out of the guy who abuses his pets, but if you do, at least let me help you straighten shit out.

And for my money, any argument which accuses those with differing opinions as “leftists” is flawed to begin with.

You Nazi, you.

I agree with this statement as regards the potential profitable (material) benefits. Elf should have equal bidding rights with Shell and Exxon and Statoil of Russia in bidding for such things as oil concessions, and other French companies (or German, or whatever) should have equal standing on other contracts. Heck, ABB could use the work, for one. Exceptions for those firms found to have knowingly provided elements of WMD’s to the extent they’re found.

As regards direct French (or German or Russian or whoever) government participation in helping to form a new Iraqi government or participating in diplomacy? Screw 'em. There are ~40 nations which saw the need to overthrow Saddam’s regime. I’m sure there’s more than enough diplomatic firepower among them to help the Iraqis build a new great nation.

I’m guessing that amphibian reference refers to a French dish made out of frog legs.

Well maybe if France isn’t welcome in Iraq, how about Afghanistan? That doesn’t really seem to be a big topic in the US following the “War on Terror” world tour. Though I suppose France can just shunt into Iraq once the mighty US rolls into N. Korea.

Sad, but I think a comic says it better than I can. Maybe, just maybe, ego and moaning can be put aside to deal with the tragedy rather than saying “yah, well…fuck you” like the bully that finally got punched back.

We’ve done this before. Why not do it again?

I don’t see any French blood shed. Why should they have any claim to any future ‘rights’ (read: revenue) from Iraqi interests? They wanted to stall. We went in and did it on our own.

But, I have to agree with GaWd, I can see the UN being totally circumvented with the political rebuilding of Iraq, save for the humanitarian issues which were in place with the resolutions of 1991. I’m sure the UN will be doing humanitarian food delivery/etc. while the US&UK restructure the political environment.

Give me one good reason why the French should be involved at all in the regime change. Last I saw, I didn’t see them involved in




[sub]Links are giving me trouble. Sorry. Cut and paste 'em[/sub]

I can’t see any dirt on their hands save for a couple of airshows, so what stake do they have now?

Just a couple of cents worth. . .

Dangit. Cut out the “” blocks in each address, and they should work . . .


Because we aren’t invading the country to make it a colony?

So…after spending 75-100 Billion dollars to free the Iraqis, plus how ever many American and British lives it costs, we should magnanimously walk away?

Fact: Iraq has to be rebuilt for it’s people to prosper ( utilize resources, trade, travel, etc…)
Fact: There is proffit to be made in rebuilding Iraq
Fact: The U.S. and Britain bore the brunt of the cost in freeing Iraq-monitarily and in lives. Given that, I don’t think prefered access to number 2 is unreasonable. Once Saddam is gone, it’s time to be pragmatic, and the French haven’t done shit except sell Saddam parts for his Mirage fighters. I say “Fuck 'em” with a clear concience.

I don’t believe France should have a role, but not because of revenge, or because there are ‘spoils of war’ that should go to the U.S.

I oppose it because France will royally screw over Iraq. The oil contracts they signed with Saddam are heavily biased in France’s favor. They cut sweetheart deals with a dictatar, provided arms to him and screwed over the Iraqi people.

France’s colonial history is nothing to be proud of, and it’s not in the distant past, either. France is still meddling in Africa.

Also, France has a vested interest. France wants those oil contracts honored. France is owed debts from Saddam’s regime. I do not trust France to not try to manipulate the situation to regain what they think they lost.

In fact, I’d like to see the U.N. stay out of it completely. They’ll turn Iraq into a country designed by committee and make a balls of it.

Iraq needs a consistent framework, a constitution, and solid representatiion from Iraqis themselves. What it doesn’t need is U.N. ‘input’ from countries like Syria and Iran.

But I also don’t think it should be a U.S. only operation. The U.S. needs to shed its imperialist image after this war.

My suggestion is that the U.S. should convene a council made up of democratic countries. and work out an administrative plan for Iraq with them. Countries I would include would be the current coalition partners, plus Canada (Canada’s neutrality in this could be especially useful) and maybe a couple of other countries.

And I read an idea somewhere that I thought was brilliant: Iraq could use a civil administrator with impeccable credentials as a humanitarian and an administrator. Someone who has experience transitioning a country from a dictatorship to a democracy. Someone who is respected throughout the world.

Iraq could use Vaclav Havel.

Well for those of you able to get your analysis somewhat beyond the level of grade school resentments, because it’s bloody fucking good politics.

At present this war is a bloody disaster for the American image in the world and especially the Islamic world.

Cutting out the UN and opposing countries because of petty resentments over France’s correct analysis that this war is a crock will do only one thing: render charges in the Islamic world that the Americans are the new crusaders / colonialists all the more vividely true. Things are already at a very dangerous boil, the worst I have seen it in a whole decade, the very worst.

Now, I presume that we are all adult enough to get somewhat beyond grade school resentments and look to long term gains and interests, or perhaps you are looking forward to American troops dying in truck bombings etc. in no small part because of some short sighted, childish vindicitivness?

Finally, I would expect a businessman such as Sam to be able to distinguish between TotalFinaElf signing contracts and “France” signing contracts. And I might add, having direct and genuine experience in this area, those who live in glass houses should throw no stones, for American corporate contracts I have seen in the region, with ‘friendly’ dictatorships and achieved with official support are no fucking better. No secret around here. Nor has American “meddling” been any better in this region, and the regional populaces know it. Colonialism my fucking ass, it is no secret here Saddam had American help getting into power (via support to the Baath, then during the Iran war) and our support for ugly dictators is bloody well known. To critique France on this matter reeks of hypocrisy, either uninformed, or disingenous.

Further, I may add, France is presently insanely popular for its stance – French assistance in reconstruction would be an enormous political benefit. Enormous. However the post war goverment MUST be Iraqi, anything else is utter and complete stupidity. Havel my ass. He speaks no fucking Arabic, nows nothing of the region. It is impossible to be effective here in this region without a good sense of the flow and the subterranean politics – there is no small reason Arabs are disposed to conspiracy theories, politics and relations here operate on that basis.

Perspective all, perspective. I mean this seriously. This war will in the end be won not on the battlefield, but by looking to long term image and position. The self-indulgence shown in much of the yelping on this matter – from both sides – bodes very poorly for the execution of a post-“BATTLE” plan. This Adminstration and many commentators need to buy some fucking clues if this war is to end up less a disaster than I suspect it will be.

Yours very truly,


(Sorry, a first post in the pit needs a bit of the old me)

I’m with Jack, here.

I don’t think the US should be involved in the rebuilding process at all. We knock out the regime and restore order, then we are done. The UN should take up the job of rebuilding, and pick up the tab. No US companies should be getting fat contracts so as to avoid the appearence of impropriety (like Haliburton) or war profiteering.

Well, too fucking late for that, the Adminstration has already promised rebuidling.

Further such an approach will only feed anti-Americanism globally and especially in the Islamic world.

This is not a fucking game, the Adminsitration has opened Pandora’s Box. You have no idea at the anger level in the region, playing the bully too cheap to clean up after knocking the smaller, weaker bully around is only going to feed that resentment.

However the appearance of war profiteering is equally posionous.

I come, against all evidence, that some statesmanship in the proper sense of the word will be forthcoming.

[hijack]welcome back Colls[/hijack]

The only possible saving grace for the US led coallition of the willing is for bringing in France and others into the rebuilding. Anything less than that is colonialism and gunboat diplomacy at it’s worst. The reasons for war may be there, but the method of the 800 pound gorrilla was extremely poorly executed in global terms.

The whole world is looking to see if the US is going to carve up Iraq and make it the 51st vassel state of the US, soon to be followed by Iran, Saudi, et al.

Go after N. Korea if you want to take on a real enemy with no spoils to be had.

America will have a negative image in the Arab world? Perish the thought!


Holy shit! Now I am concerned. Are you saying America may someday face the specter of Arab terrorism?
I see people fall over themselves and kiss your ass, since you seem to be some sort of ‘Middle-Eastern Affairs Expert’. Color me unimpressed. ‘Experts’ have been dicking around with the Middle East since the end of WW2, and the place is a massive shithole, chock full of dictators and terrorists. I feel much better placing my faith in the simple, strong logic of GWB when it comes to dealings with the Middle East.

I am so very glad that Brutus has not made any changes from his brilliantly binary thinking. It would indeed be such a disappointment to see him admit some degree of complexity in the world or respond with something other than a poorly thought out, and to an extent illogical straw man.

Indeed, perish the thought that we avoid looking yet worse, and indeed working to correct in an intelligent manner, with real statesmanship, the correctable. Or that some people would realize that the range of opinions in the Arab and Islamic worlds are quite varied, and that some forms of negative sentiment towards the US are fairly superficial and benign, and in fact addressable.

But of course, such people, in their comfortable self indulgent ignorance, would never trouble themselves to actually learn something about a situation not pre-digested by the ideological punidty in … how do you say, simple and direct terms for those who prefer their thinking like their baby food.

Holy shite, I am saying that the problem is manageable and that policies have real and direct impacts on the reservoir of radicalism, and that one can, with something approaching … well thinking as opposed to empty parroting of slogans, successfully achieve change.

Faith, yes I think that is an accurate description of your understanding and response. Simple faith.

Of course, I would add that “expert advice” has rarely been followed on the Middle East, and so your characterization, which I know full well to be nothing but an ignorant lashing out, really has no basis in reality.

Of course, I might add, having spent a good part of my professional life in the region, I can say it is not a massive shithole, and is not 'chock full of terrorists" but does have really serious problems, some indigenously generated, others generated by outside interference in a particularly negative stew.

The “simple” logic of Bush is nothing of the sort.

Forgetting for a moment how the US has behaved, (whether you think it’s right or wrong or whatever), forgetting for the moment a lot of other things—doesn’t it seem just tacky for the French to actually voice concern at this time that they’ll be “left out”? To quote the article in the OP:

I just find them to be incredibly, incredibly tacky. I think timing has a great deal to do with this. I think if they voiced concerns much later, after things have settled down (however and whenever that may happen) then it wouldn’t be quite so tacky.

For the record, that’s not exactly my position. I actually think we should be involved in rebuilding. I mean we’re the ones knocking the shit out of things over there for a “noble cause”. I don’t thing we should just make a big crater out of Iraq and say, “Congratulations, you’re liberated. Good luck.”

I’m saying that the we shouldn’t act like spoiled children once the job is done.

“Mine, mine, mine … stop touching me … I had it first”

yosemitebabe, when statements like these appear:

“officials said Tuesday.”
“a Finance Ministry official said.”
"The Finance Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed discussions were underway with business "
"Some French are concerned "
“Officials in Paris say”

they are clues that a news report is fabricated.

The only real source names is “Gilles Munier”.