"[W]hatever the circumstances, France will vote no."

“My position is that whatever the circumstances, France will vote no.”

  • JACQUES CHIRAC (As quoted in the New York Times, 3/11/03)
    Is this responsible leadership?

I believe there are valid reasons to vote on either side of many issues. And that there are currently valid reasons to vote against this resolution as well.

And, I’ve respected France’s stance in the past.

But by declaring that no facts can change his mind, Chirac now looks as biased towards Iraq as Bush is towards war.

I am totally conviced France will have some 'splainin to do this summer. Of what, I can only speculate. But this is not how you act towards such a preeminent ally under such circumstances. Even if you totally oppose their actions.

Although unlikely, it is possible that they just vehemently disagree. And are actively voicing that dissension the best they can. But the facts are that Bush is going to have this war. And the obstructionist ways of France will not be forgotten for a looong time to come.

…neither will the bloodthirstyness of Bush, though…

Yeah, well Bush will only be around for, at the most, 6 more years. And those that are getting more and more perturbed by Pepe’s antics will be around a while longer. The sad thing is, it is possible for Bush to redeem himself depending on an outcome. France will never be able to say “see I told you I was right”, unless Saddam removes himself and his party from power and joins a seminary. After, of course, he turns over all possible weapons to a UN body.

Yes, Chirac’s “no whatever happens” position is no more responsible than Bush’s “war whatever happens” position. Surely there’s no debate?

How was Bush’s position “War whatever happens”? Didn’t the US’s administration offer the Iraqi government more time to comply to the resolution in an effort to avert war? Several times, in fact?

I’ve always been less concerned about the potential war than the way the Bush Administration has been botching foreign relationships.

But if this is what they’re up against, I can be a little more forgiving.

erislover, do you really believe that has ever been sincere, given Bush’s hammering about “regime change” as the fundamental goal (the only one he’s kept constant), and Saddam’s obvious disinterest in being deposed or killed? The other arguments have all been so changeable as to be simply decorative. Opinion only, of course, but derived from observations of Bush’s conduct.

I would also like to know when you think Bush has ever “offered more time to comply with the resolutions”, and how that has ever been his call to make anyway.

ElvisL1ves, Are you claiming that Saddam is fully complying with calls to disarm? The UN weapons inspectors have said that he has not and I think it’s fairly obvious that he isn’t. How can you say Bush’s position is “war whatever happens” when the one thing that hasn’t happened is Saddam’s full compliance with inspectors?

God, let’s not do this again :frowning:

I hope that he meant “Under no likely circumstances in the next few days.” I agree that what he said is indefensable. You have to always be able to change your game plan based on circumstances.

You see, there is good business to be had in hating the USA. France likes to sell weapons & such- and they like to sell them to dudes who hate the USA. Thus, an anti-USA position is “good for business”. Besides, with the threat of USSR out of the way now- what does France have to lose? Of course, French politicians don’t lose many votes by US bashing either. :rolleyes:

You have to feel sorry for the President of Mexico- inside Mexico, he has to maintain an anti-US policy, blaming US for all his internal woes- but then also fly across the border & kiss GWB’s butt for help & aid. :smiley:

Mojo, nothing of the sort. Where did you get that idea from?

I was referring to Bush’s apparent insistence on war at any pretext, not on anything to do with Saddam’s compliance with the UN (which, in case it isn’t clear, is a UN problem and not the US’s decision). Bush went to the UN fairly late in the game, well after first insisting that he didn’t even need Congressional approval for a war. At no time has he ever offered that a war was not inevitable, either, unless you count Powell’s hint that there wouldn’t be one if Saddam left (never mind the alleged weapons or the humanitarian reasons).

So yes, I believe you can dismiss all the other arguments he’s trotted out as insincere. Bush wants his war and will have one, no matter what happens, until Saddam is credibly dead.

I think its the only moral stance that Chirac can take unless Iraq actually attacks somebody. France has no obligation to go along with Bush’s scummy little war, no matter what kind “evidence” the US tries to fabricate. Bush wants an invasion first, and a justification second. His motivations are so transparently self-serving and political that it is only correct to say that he has failed to make a case and that, short of something extremely dramatic, France cannot forsee changing its mind. Chirac is right and Bush is wrong and evil. It’s just that simple.


I also remember him stating it several times since the beginning. I don’t thin he ever said that war is incumbent upon the decision of the UN though. Just on the actions of Iraq.

That’s a completely disingenuous comment by Bush. His definition of “compliance” was that Hussein somehow prove a negative by showing that Irq had no WMDs. It’s typical Dubya mealy-mouthed crap.

I love hearing assertions about ‘disingenuous comments’ made by someone as blatantly unbiased as you.

I may be biased but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. :wink:

Damn. This thread went way off subject.

To answer the OP. That is not responsible leadership at all. Jacques Chirac is basically saying, paraphrasing of course, “Even if he does have nuclear weapons, even if he is killing many of his own citizens, even if he did break UN resolutions, …we will always say no.” Iraq could basically invade France, and they’d still be against it. That’s the point the OP was looking for.

This has gotten off track. My opinon Chirac’s statement was irresponsible as US pressure has been the only thing so far to get Saddam to even feign compliance- without it, he’d still be blatantly flouting the UN resolutions.