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It's Beginning
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It certainly seems like the ultimatum laid down by Bush yesterday is a precursor to imminent war, along with British warnings for citizens to leave Kuwait, closing of embassies, etc.

I'm still uneasily in support for this looming war. Not so uneasy about the fact that it's the right thing to do, but uneasy about the lack of support around the world. It makes the job that much more difficult.

More than anything I'm disappointed at our European "allies". I'm not as disappointed in Russia or China, because I didn't expect as much from them. But France and Germany, two countries that have seen first-hand the effects of tyranny unchecked, appear to prefer the path of obstruction and appeasement.

I watched Chirac's interview on 60 Minutes last night, and it was frankly pathetic.

AMANPOUR: Britain and the United States have accused France of poisoning the process by saying that you would use your veto under any circumstances. Even in Iraq, newspapers loyal to Saddam Hussein are hailing, are praising, the division in the world community, calling it a great victory for Saddam Hussein. Do you not think that your repeated vow to veto has emboldened Saddam Hussein?

PRESIDENT CHIRAC: France is not pacifist. We are not anti-American either. We are not just going to use our veto to nag and annoy the US. But we just feel that there is another option, another way, another more normal way, a less dramatic way than war, and that we have to go through that path. And we should pursue it until we’ve come [to] a dead end, but that isn’t the case.

After 12 years and 17 ignored U.N. resolutions we're still not at "a dead end"? Would somebody explain to me what they consider a dead end if this isn't it?

AMANPOUR: Mr. President, you know that since you have taken the position you have there has been a massive backlash in the United States at almost every level of society. From the leader of the House of Representatives, who is talking about initiating sanctions against France in some form or another, to restaurants in the Congress which have renamed their frites. Their French fries are now being called "freedom fries." People feel… they are asking, ‘what happened to our friendship? Does France remember who liberated them? Why is France betraying us?’

PRESIDENT CHIRAC: Whenever there were difficult circumstances the French were side by side with the Americans. The French don’t either forget what America and Americans did for us in both world wars. It is in our minds and also deep down in our hearts. I think that the relationship between the French and the Americans, the human relationship, is a relationship of friendship. Of love even, I would say. But if I see my friend or somebody I dearly love going down the wrong path, then I owe it to him to warn him be careful…

See? He loves us. He really loves us. That's why he's appeasing a madman.

Chirac goes on to claim that the Osiraq nuclear reactor was a peaceful civilian facility (wink, wink). Yeah, we're buying that one, Jacques.

He also makes the claim that no French companies have been involved in selling illicit material to Iraq during the sanctions:

AMANPOUR: The New York Times has reported that there is evidence that France is involved, French companies, in transferring materials for use in long-range missiles, Iraqi missiles. Are you aware of any French companies being involved in such an effort, and if so…

PRESIDENT CHIRAC: Because The New York Times is a serious newspaper, as soon as I read this I ordered an inquiry. I can now confirm officially after an inquiry by the French foreign ministry, France and French companies have never endorsed or even provided such material to Iraq. So I am clearly denying this allegation.

It took a story by an American newspaper for the President of France to open an investigation? This was the first he'd heard of it? And he's already cleared all French companies from any complicity? Hmm...

This is a claim that should be easily confirmed or refuted after the war. I have the suspicion that France is going to look more and more hypocritical and deceitful in only a matter of months.

In the meantime, it looks like we're going to war.

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