I know that thread title might not make much sense, but I just have to wonder a little. My thought process on the matter:
- A few weeks/months back the polls in America showed some pretty tepid support for war, particularly for going to war alone.
- Chirac has always been fairly embattled in France, which IIRC is why Jospin got into his office.
- In the last few months on Iraq, France has been extremely inflexible to the point where even Dubya looks reasonable sometimes. This has made an already skeptical U.S. populace even more unlikely to place a great deal of weight on the United Nations.
- By France being so unwilling to bend, they have provided a great straw man into which anyone who is against war has been able to be pushed. After all, who has ever wanted to be on the same side as the French on anything?
- Chirac, despite being a butt of jokes in America, is able to enhance his standing in France and abroad as the man who stood up to the big unilateralist bully.
- By rendering the Security Council irrelevant, the United States is able to attain a pseudo-legitimacy at least for unilateral (or near enough to it) actions since "we tried to go the UN, but one or two nation's were determined to impose their will on the body."
- By giving Americans multiple rallying points the administration has seen support for the war rise, as average Americans, like myself, have begun to feel like they want this over with and they just want to tell the French to shove it and quit playing patsy-fingers with a dictator.
I know the above is not particularly likely and that there are flaws in it somewhere...but I still just wonder....
I just don't see what's in it for Chirac. I really don't. The main Socilaist opposition was decimated in the Presidential election and suffered significant losses in the Parliament. Chirac may be embattled, but he's in no danger of losins control. It's an interesting theory, but there is nothing for Chirac to gain from it.
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. - Theodore Roosevelt, Ocotber 12, 1915
You could almost reverse the argument and say that France, Russia, Germany, and the Hollywood leftists caused the war. No really! Since they were so resolute in opposing a war at all costs, since France said they would veto ANY resolution that authorized a use of force, they, in effect, disqualified the use of the "Threat of force" as a diplomatic tool. And since this essential diplomatic tool (It is Hussein, for crying out loud, he has never responded to anything but the threat of force) could not be used, Hussein was emboldened and diplomacy became impossible.
So in opposing a war, they caused it.
See, you can use logic to blame anyone for anything,
I pretty much agree but Van Buren was a shill for the New York political machine. My real point is we have had plenty of lousy Presidents. Nixon is a real conumdrum. He accomplished some incredible things that were overshadowed by his paranoia.