Why is France acting so anti war?

What are its motives?

These are the motives i’ve picked up so far

  1. Somehow France benefits from the oil for food program, and stands to lose billions if the Saddam regime is removed.

  2. Chirac’s stance as Prime minister is dependent on being anti-US as the French are largely anti US right now.

What about China & Russia, what are their motives? I remember reading in newsweek back in october (before it was common knowledge that Russia & France would oppose war) that Russia & France were benefiting greatly from the oil for food program (can’t remember how though). So i assume that is either their main or sole reason for opposing war.

Before anyone says ‘humanitarianism’, remember Russia is condemned by the UN & NATO for targeting civilians in Chechnya & China is no bastion of human rights.

Maybe because war is generally something civilized nations SHOULD oppose, unless all peaceful options have been tried first.

IMO, part of the reason is the French are afraid that we will find their fingerprints on some of Iraq’s WoMD.

Which explains why they wanted more inspections, for a longer time. Makes sense.

My guesses:

  1. France has a sizable Muslem population, and they don’t want a war in iraq.

  2. France is a nation of peace-loving folks who think war should be the last resort.

  3. France believes the US is waging war simply to grab Iraq’s oil, and doesn’t want this to happen.

  4. France believes the US is waging war to increase its geopolitical power and establish a presence in the Middle East, and doesn’t want this to happen.

  5. France thinks George W. Bush is an illegitimate, war-mongering brute who’s been ignoring the international community for too long, and opposes the war as payback.

  6. All of the above.

  1. France doesn’t want to lose oil development contracts made with Saddam.

  2. France doesn’t want to lose the lucrative weapons deals it (until recently) had with Iraq.

  3. France has delusions of grandeur, and sees itself as some sort of rival to America on a global scale.

  4. France has had more to do with Saddam’s WMD program then it wants the world to know about.

Well, that takes care of France’s evil and skulking motives. Now, what about Russia. And China. And Chile. And Germany. And Mexico. Well, they all have crass and selfish motives, unlike the noble USA. We’re going to war to get rid of Saddam’s nukes. Oh, wait, that ones outdated. Where’s the memo…oh,yes, here it is! Its a selfless struggle to free the Iraqi people! And just as soon as we’re done, we’ve got a road map for peace between Israel and Palestine.

As I said to Sam, if you see your best friend pour gasoline in his lap and reach for the matches, how are you treacherous and disloyal if you try to slap the matches out of his hand?

The general view expressed/policy pursued by/of this current French President - as opposed to ‘France’ (as some kind of single opinion entity) - is part of a majority view, it’s just that Chirac’s view matters because France holds the power of veto within the UN Security Council.

It’s the Coalition of the Willing to Ignore the Will of the UN that’s in the minority, of whom both the current UK and US administrations compose the leading dissenters from that majority view.
So your question is actually; Why is the majority of the world opposed to waging war ?

Answer; Because the UN has not expressly approved action in the context of a (informed by the Inspectors post-Inspections assessment) fresh and invasion-specific Resolution.
As regards some of the above answers, there isn’t a country involved that doesn’t have it’s own reasons for being involved or not being involved - dissing France on that basis is like saying the US wnats to do in because Rumsfeld wants the receipts back for the Anthrax cultures the US supplied.

The problem with the financial side of the argument is that at no stage in this whole thing was it really in any question that the US was going to go to war and win.

Bush said he would prefer the UN’s backing but it wasn’t essential. This is what has happened. Who here actually believed that this war wasn’t going to happen. Every analyst I’ve seen has said it was a certainty for quite a while now. France knew this.

If France was working from a purely financial basis, surely they’d be involved in the war and also not pushing for a 100% UN led reconstruction policy.

Good point, elucidator.

Remember a few weeks ago: Around the world you had an overwhelming public opposition to waging a war without the explicit support of the UN. Also in the UK and the US.

Some administrations chose to oppose the war, seemingly promoting the will of their people.

Other administrations were in favor of the UN sanctioning a war as a means to bring a pressure on iraq so as to help the UNMOVIC inspectors. For example the UK. It was frequently stated that an actual war wouldn’t be necessary unless Saddam Hussein continued to “defy” the inspectors despite an explicit war threat.

The US leadership on the other hand, has from the start made it very clear that it’s intentions are a war, and that going through the UN is only a way to get legitimacy for this war. And should the UN fail to support the US in this, a war will be waged anyway.

This stance had very weak public support even in the US a few weeks ago.

So maybe you guys rather should ask yourselves: Why are you americans so in favor of a war now? Without UN support, and without public support around the world?

I’m amused by how many people simply cannot imagine that some people are against the war without attributing self-serving motives to those people. It’s absolutely impossible to these people that French leaders might simply be abiding by the wishes of the people they represent, the people that voted them into office. In other words, doing their job as democratically elected leaders.

Yet of course, W. Bush could only have motives pure as the driven snow, unblemished by any association to oil companies or motives of personal revenge. It’s a complete coincidence that Saddam tried to kill his father; it’s impossible that a man of such superhuman stature could possible let that get in the way of his pure, clear thinking.

One other thing. You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it is the case that for a Permanent Member of the Security Council, a “no” vote is a veto, there is no special case of a veto, that is, you can’t vote “no” without vetoing. The overwhelming majority of the French people are clearly against a “rush to war”.

Why, then, should a democraticly elected government vote in opposition to the will of its people? Shouldn’t it be our opinion that a country’s repesentatives reflect the will of the people? Presuming, of course, that we mean what we say when we talk about advocating representative democracy. Presumng, of course, that we are not world-class hypocrites, unashamed to use the most tawdry and transparent crap in order to have our way.

For any number of reasons, Lucy, in democacies where the general population is as politically aware as a pint of Guinness.

For example - and this is purely hypothetical – a British PM bases part of his rationale for supporting the agenda of a US president on factors it wouldn’t be helpful to disclose. Like, for example, that Saddam might live another 20-30 years and – as history demonstrates - this is likely to be the only time during that period a US president will have the balls / political will / or be able to bear the body bags (and his Party win next election) to actually confront the evil loon. And that it’s worth taking the risks now just in case, at some point in the future, evil loon does lay his hands on that which he obviously desires; enriched uranium, bio cultures, etc.

See, you can’t say that history shows your number one ally has no bollocks most of the time.

Just as a for instance, you understand. There are other possible explanations …

Yes, i believe that is the case eludicator.

And many believe this is (one of the) problem(s) with the veto-system, for sure. It should be changed.

Still, the US have stopped an endless number of resolutions in the security counsil with the use of it’s veto. For example several on Israel-Palestine, often being the only state voting against. Sometimes the US and Israel has been totally isolated from the rest of the world community.

So getting all worked up about France maybe voting no - together with Russia, and China, and actually the majority of the security council - certainly seems to me a fine example of hypocrisy.


Yeah well, speculations aside… But I find it troubling when people first proclaim the supremacy of the democratic state and then hail the leader that has the strength to go against the will of his people.

In the case of the UK government, trade relations is for sure as good a reason to side up with the US as Tony Blairs hyped-up “personal conviction”.

In the case of Spain, the government’s gambling for more influence.

Well, that’s a relief, 'cause the one you gave fails to distinguish between a “democratic” government’s obligations to represent the interests of the people and the separate obligation to faithfully reflect the will of the people. Even pints of Guinness seem to have a pretty good understanding of the background of this current adventure, and to have expressed a clear opinion regarding it.


Article 27 of the UN Charter, concerning Security Council Voting:[list=1][li]Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote.[]Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.[]Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.[/list=1][/li]Chapter VI deals with “pacific settlement of disputes” and in general calls upon disputing countries to settle their dispute through “peaceful means of their own choice”, and reserves the right of the Security Council to investigate disputes and to “recommend appropriate procedures or methods of adjustment.”

Paragraph 3 of Article 52 sez: “The Security Council shall encourage the development of pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies either on the initiative of the states concerned or by reference from the Security Council.”

(IOW, it looks like you are correct.)

I think this is a very important question. I’ve been trying to figure it out for a while…

I didn’t want to fall in to the ‘It’s all about oil!’ crowd…
I didn’t want to fall into the ‘Bush is a pudding-for-brains madman’ crowd…
I didn’t want to fall into the ‘America is evil warmongering hypocrites’ crowd…
I didn’t want to fall into the ‘Imperialist Expansion’ crowd…

… without a good reson for taking that view. But I can’t figure it out. Why is the US government so determined, come hell or high water, to go to war in Iraq?

They say, ‘War on Terror’. They say ‘Enforce the will of the UN’. They say ‘Remove a terrible dicator’. But the Saddam-terrorist links are tenuous at best, they’ve certainly got a funny way of enforcing UN will, and there are plenty of other dictators. Even if Saddam is the worst, why NOW? Why not after the inspection process played itself out? Why not… so many other options.

What do they want? I have no idea. :frowning:

Naturally, I never doubted that. But to indulge an unseemly quibble, your cited quote does not seem to bear on whether or not a Permanent Member can cast a “no” vote without vetoing. That wording “the concurring votes of the permanent members” would seem to imply that an abstention would function as a veto, and that can’t be right, can it?

Further, “a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting” doth severely raise the eyebrows. That would seem to imply that America, who is most certainly a party to a dispute, or at least eagerly trying to be a party to a dispute, should be obliged to abstain. Unless, of course, bombing the bejabbers out of a foreign nation does not necessarily entail a “dispute”.

“Well, yeah, I clubbed him in the head with a five-iron. But that wasn’t a dispute, that was just a sincere expression of opinion. And he didn’t deny my opinion, so there is no “dispute”. Sure, he was in a coma. So?”

and ditto Britney’s dad, Randy:
It’s a *Parliamentary * democracy… Hence, there was a 9-10 hour debate in the House of Commons this week at the end of which Blair won a 2/3 majority on the question of his Iraqi policy. In this form of democracy, the Members of Parliament are there not to reflect the views of their constituencies, but to use their best judgment on the behalf of their constituencies, in the best interests, if you wish – a bit like employing a lawyer or a doctor. Well, maybe, or not.

Otherwise, what is the point of having representatives at all – we might as well all have a button on the teevee and vote for the best act ?

If you don’t like the MP’s judgment, you throw them out when the constituency party next chooses whom will represent it in a General Election. You can throw (‘deselect’) an MP out yearly, I believe (depending on the constituency rules or party rules, I imagine). Same party, just a different prospective representative.

And anyway, it only seems like yesterday people were so admiring of the mad bat Thatcher’s “strong” leadership – seems one mans “strong” leader is another’s anti-democratic despot.
Fwiw, I’d be more concerned (about the UK) if the degree of accountability and the immediacy (in time) of that accountability wasn’t as acute as I believe it is. YMM, or may not, V.


Well Britney, Randy’s yer uncle! Maybe I should change name to Guns_of_brixton, huh? :slight_smile:

My point exactly! Just goes to show that some pro-war rethoric spinners should step down from their high democratic horses.

In the case of such a strong public opinion as in Spain (80-90 percent or so against), there could certainly be an argument made that the government has such a poor mandate for it’s policy that it ought to step down.