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A Theory (What if there’s method to the Franco-German madness??
National Review ^
| March 10, 2003
| Michael Ledeen
Posted on 03/10/2003 6:18:35 AM PST by conservativecorner
Assume, for a moment, that the French and the Germans aren't thwarting us out of pique, but by design, long-term design. Then look at the world again, and see if there's evidence of such a design.
Like everyone else, the French and the Germans saw that the defeat of the Soviet Empire projected the United States into the rare, almost unique position of a global hyperpower, a country so strong in every measurable element that no other nation could possibly resist its will. The "new Europe" had been designed to carve out a limited autonomy for the old continent, a balance-point between the Americans and the Soviets. But once the Soviets were gone, and the Red Army melted down, the European Union was reduced to a combination theme park and free-trade zone. Some foolish American professors and doltish politicians might say and even believe that henceforth "power" would be defined in economic terms, and that military power would no longer count. But cynical Europeans know better.
They dreaded the establishment of an American empire, and they sought for a way to bring it down.
If you were the French president or the German chancellor, you might well have done the same.
How could it be done? No military operation could possibly defeat the United States, and no direct economic challenge could hope to succeed. That left politics and culture. And here there was a chance to turn America's vaunted openness at home and toleration abroad against the United States. So the French and the Germans struck a deal with radical Islam and with radical Arabs: You go after the United States, and we'll do everything we can to protect you, and we will do everything we can to weaken the Americans.
The Franco-German strategy was based on using Arab and Islamic extremism and terrorism as the weapon of choice, and the United Nations as the straitjacket for blocking a decisive response from the United States.
This required considerable skill, and total cynicism, both of which were in abundant supply in Paris and Berlin. Chancellor Shroeder gained reelection by warning of American warmongering, even though, as usual, America had been attacked first. And both Shroeder and Chirac went to great lengths to support Islamic institutions in their countries, even when as in the French case it was in open violation of the national constitution. French law stipulates a total separation of church and state, yet the French Government openly funds Islamic "study" centers, mosques, and welfare organizations. A couple of months ago, Chirac approved the creation of an Islamic political body, a mini-parliament, that would provide Muslims living in France with official stature and enhanced political clout. And both countries have permitted the Saudis to build thousands of radical Wahhabi mosques and schools, where the hatred of the infidels is instilled in generation after generation of young Sunnis. It is perhaps no accident that Chirac went to Algeria last week and promised a cheering crowd that he would not rest until America's grand design had been defeated.
Both countries have been totally deaf to suggestions that the West take stern measures against the tyrannical terrorist sponsors in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. Instead, they do everything in their power to undermine American-sponsored trade embargoes or more limited sanctions, and it is an open secret that they have been supplying Saddam with military technology through the corrupt ports of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid's little playground in Dubai, often through Iranian middlemen.
It sounds fanciful, to be sure. But the smartest people I know have been thoroughly astonished at recent French and German behavior. This theory may help understand what's going on. I now believe that I was wrong to forecast that the French would join the war against Iraq at the last minute, having gained every possible economic advantage in the meantime. I think Chirac will oppose us before, during, and after the war, because he has cast his lot with radical Islam and with the Arab extremists. He isn't doing it just for the money although I have no doubt that France is being richly rewarded for defending Saddam against the civilized countries of the world but for higher stakes. He's fighting to end the feared American domination before it takes stable shape.
If this is correct, we will have to pursue the war against terror far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East, into the heart of Western Europe. And there, as in the Middle East, our greatest weapons are political: the demonstrated desire for freedom of the peoples of the countries that oppose us.
Radio Free France, anyone?
Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen, Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, can be reached through Benador Associates.
TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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We did it twice, and we'll do it again.
To: Semper Paratus
If you really think about it, it is not a far fetched theory. I mean Germany is ruled by members of Baeder-Meinhof, etc and France is....well France. What other way do they have to try and minimize us?
posted on 03/10/2003 6:30:12 AM PST
by Ga Rob
("Consensus is the ABSENCE of Leadership" The Iron Lady)
An interesting, but tinfoil-laden, analysis. It's hard to believe that they would have this much hubris, or to give themselves and their own counties over to Islam. You'd have to believe that Chirac is a closet Islamist. Either way, though, they are playing a dangerous game.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:34:41 AM PST
A pretty wild hypothesis. Under any scenario, the French are nuts. I can't believe Chirac and Schroeder want to exercise this "power" they're looking for in a Muslim dominated Europe. Can their hatred for the US be that great???
posted on 03/10/2003 6:35:40 AM PST
Not only Radio Free France, but how about another regime change in France (like 1944)?
Clearly there is the undercurrent within Europe that Franco german cooperation should dominate the world. I am not certain that the decisions for policies that further this end is totally calculated rather it is more like an underlying theme. The vast majority of other nations supporting the USA in this including Poland, Hungary and the other former East bloc states makes total sense in the light they are using support of the USA to counterweight the local bullies of France and Germany who would view them as potential economic colonies.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:37:46 AM PST
(Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
The hatred of millions of Americans for our country is as great.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:41:09 AM PST
It sounds fanciful, to be sure. But the smartest people I know have been thoroughly astonished at recent French and German behavior. This theory may help understand what's going on.
An intriguing theory, to be sure.
For a possible alternative explanation (not necessarily mutually exclusive), see post #23 in this FreeRepublic thread.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:41:16 AM PST
It is not as outrageous a theory when you recall that Chirac has a decades long friendship with Saddam and that France has been courting the Islamic world ever since the Arab Oil Boycott in the mid 1970s. There is a great deal of muslim immigration into Europe, especially France, and those countries are greatly dependent still on arab oil.
You look at the huge bias in favor of the Palestinians against Israel throughout Europe; you look at the tolerance of Islamic culture vs the villification of American and Israeli culture there; you look at the willful grandstanding France and Germany are doing now in the UN in favor of an Arab dictator; listen to Villepin's speech last week where he stated the Arab League and Muslim States support for their position (as if those organizations were somehow equivalent to NATO) and you see that there is something nefarious going on.
There has been speculation for years that the French and some other Europeans have "bought off" the Muslim terrorists just like Saudi Arabia has -- in return for no terrorism on their shores, they agree to support the radical Islamic agenda and thwart the US and its ally Israel in the Middle East.
Given the events of today and the last few weeks, how far-fetched does that really seem?
posted on 03/10/2003 6:45:49 AM PST
(the land of the free and the home of the brave)
Intellectuals should never try to figure out the motives of stupid people. There is no plan, a plan would require forethought, something which has always escaped the French. One can only surmise that the Germans caught stupid from their repeated exposure to it by spending too much time in the infected country.
Given the surging Moslem population in Europe, in thirty years the Moslem nation with the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons will be France.
Clearly there is the undercurrent within Europe that Franco german cooperation should dominate the world.
They tried that once before with Vichy France.
In the future the names "Chirac" and "Schroeder" may be reviled as much as "Petain" and "Quisling."
"It sounds fanciful, to be sure"
It sounds driven by pettiness and envy.......It sounds FRENCH!
You'd have to believe that Chirac is a closet Islamist.
Not really: simply an opportunist. At current birthrates and immigration policies, native Europeans will soon be overcome by Muslims. Colonial arrogance leads the political elite to believe they can control, even manipulate these hordes to their advantage.
It may not be as deliberate a strategy as Ledeen describes, but what matters is the result.
A large percent of europeans are perfectly content to have a government (any government will do) tell them what to do and how, when, and where to do it.
They get nice vacations, free medical, and their police carry automatic weapons.
They do not want to suffer the vagaries of democracy, the uncertainty of change, or the risks of action.
It's nice to know that your airplanes are subsidized, your farm goods are protected from new-world genetics, your politicians will cut a deal with any dictator with something to market, and even your language is protected by law.
Any wonder that they still fear what the Anglos are likely to do if left to their own devices?
posted on 03/10/2003 6:48:46 AM PST
I think the French and Germans have figured out a safe way to get people to divest their dollars and invest in Euros. I am not sure you need a more complicated explanation than that.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:50:09 AM PST
Let's ask the author. Mike, what do you think about the questions I raise here
posted on 03/10/2003 6:50:34 AM PST
Under any scenario, the French are nuts.
Yeah, nuts like a fox! Er, uh, I mean, nuts like a squirrel! ...never mind.
posted on 03/10/2003 6:54:35 AM PST
Someone else agrees with you that there's something possibly sinister about Franco-German-Russian opposition to us.
I think you and the author are both right and that these countries may have shifted from being allies to being neutral to being enemies in one move.
Islamists with the nuclear might of Pakistan, Russia, France, etc. is a scary proposition. A Clancy novel that writes itself.
I don't think it's so far-fetched. You have two elements, one of which we already see with the Saudis-- fear of Islamism in the country which leads to total appeasement-- and one we really don't-- intense hatred for American supremacy. It explains why France is more belligerent toward us.
I don't believe this hypothesis to be wildly improbable; certainly, the French and Germans have demonstrated through their actions that they will do whatever is in their power to hobble us. I've been thinking along the lines of Ledeen for some months now. The real question is, why are they so afraid of U.S. power? I used to think it was just France's insane jealousy of American success, but now I'm not so sure. There may be something far more sinister under the surface.
posted on 03/10/2003 7:06:22 AM PST
When a fear of domestic Islamist retribution combines with envy of American dominance, you get the behavior exhibited now by the French.
Europe is 65 wants to retire. To bad they never put money away to retire on.
The argument there is that those who would replace Hussein would oppose economic ties to countries that supported Hussein. The problem is that it is substantially likely that had these countries gotten on board that the animosity would be dissipated. Yes, they have oil contracts and the like, but these countries know that Hussein will lose and they could easily shift to our side with little reprisal to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, we would guarantee that they would be treated fairly regardless of past ties with Hussein.
The interesting scenario is what does this alliance mean for the war with Iraq. If they cast lots with Iraq, it would be stupid to not aid Iraq against us wouldn't it? Why else bet against the odds other than you know something everyone else doesn't know? So, what do they know?
What France is doing is more than the Saudis. They combine that appeasement with envy of our dominance. They are casting their lots as enemies of the U.S. How wild is that?
I think you're underestimating them. This is a serious thing the French are doing-- by not just staying neutral, but actually doing everything in their power to oppose us. It is very well thought out. There is a method to their madness. I wonder what it is.
To: Ga Rob
I think Chirac will oppose us before, during, and after the war, because he has cast his lot with radical Islam and with the Arab extremists.
You know, this article might seem "out there", but many of these European leftists have a long history with arab terrorists dating back to the 60's. You are correct in pointing out that the European leftists and arab terrorists have collaborated with each other for decades because they shared some of the same ideas, including Germany's bader-Meinhoff gang and later the Red Army Faction. Those same ideas are of anti-western, anti-capitalist, anti-Isreal, and anti-America origin. And lets not forget that they both were funded by the Soviets to cause trouble in the west.
I can't believe Chirac and Schroeder want to exercise this "power" they're looking for in a Muslim dominated Europe. Can their hatred for the US be that great???
I don't believe they had the smarts to plan it, BUT, even not planned, the circumstances now present an opportunity to:
1. Collaborating with Russians &/or the Chicoms gives them the military power they need.
2. The deal to leave Europe alone and go after the U.S. could bring in a cooperation of the Islamonazis.
3. They have a history of trading freedom for a feeling of importance.
4. The Islamists claim their problems are oppression and victimization by THE GREAT SATAN. The Eurotrash can pander to them, much like the DimRATs pander to the victim class here in The States. Pandering to the bums enabled the Klintoons to take over the U.S. for 8 years, the ET may think they can do the same.
An unholy alliance between between the EuroTrash, Russians, Islamists and other miscellaneous despots and world power wannabes could indeed isolate the U.S.. Being that they are still dumber than rocks, the members of this Confederation of Dunces cannot see that the Islamists will turn on them once the Confederation's goal of miminmalizing the U.S. is achived.
Note to self: Pick up heavy duty tinfoil on the way home.
posted on 03/10/2003 7:27:09 AM PST
(Boycot Michelin/Goodrich (Fr) and Contiental/General (Ger) Tires, & FStone, US but they suk)
I sent an e mail to NR in response to that article:
One thing to consider : As we learned at the time of the Millenium Summit in September 2000, there is an alliance between various Third World and European NGOs to "reform" the UN. They wish to turn the UN into a one nation, one vote "global Democracy". To do this, they wish to see the Security Council and the veto abolished by 2008.
The debacle at the UN is being finessed by much of the media-US and international-as proof that the SC (and not the UN itself) is cumbersome, outmoded, and incompetent.
We hear that the French presence on the SC and the veto is a source of pride in France.
Is it just possible , though, that the French government sees the abolition of the SC as a way to strengthen both the UN (thereby hobbling the US) and France? If the debacle at the UN leads to the abolition of the SC, could the Third World see France as its leader or saviour, or at least be grateful for this abolition? Would this lead to the strengthening of France not only in the UN, but in the EU, as French prestige is increased?
Whatever the French gain from an SC seat and the veto might be outweighted by what it would gain if both were abolished.
I anticipate we'll see more and more calls for the abolition of the SC and the veto in the months to come. The media will try to create the impression that abolition of the SC/veto is the 'correct' ,'enlightened' position to hold.
The article publised here at NR called "The Eurabian Alliance" might explain why the French want to destroy the SC, even though they supposedly gain prestige by being on it. The EU wishes to create an EU/Islamic alliance, and the percentage of the Muslim population in France itself is estimated at anywhere from 5-13%. And the EU as a whole is supposed to be 50% Muslim at least by no later than 2100.
By destroying the SC, France gains prestige in the Third World, hurts the US, and placates its Muslim population, all at once.
posted on 03/10/2003 7:33:29 AM PST
It may not be as epic of a scale, but you aren't a tinfoiler for asking perfectly legitimate questions (what in the hell are France and Russia thinking?) and coming up with logical answers (they are reacting out of fear-- of Islamists-- and loathing-- of us).
To understand their thinking, perhaps we need to abandon our preconceptions. It seems to me there has been a massive miscalculation by the US. Cheney and Rumsfeld probably had the more realistic view, but nonetheless we cast our final lot with Powell and State.
Every former Ambassador and analyst I've heard for the past several months have said the "French are just being French, they'll be with us in the end." Now they've changed their tunes.
To: UncleSamUSA; expatpat
It is not as outrageous a theory when you recall that Chirac has a decades long friendship with Saddam...
I wouldn't be surprised if large sums of money have been deposited in various secret accounts controlled by Chirac or his family. In fact, I'd bet on it - Saddam has had hundreds of billions of oil revenue over the decades, and it would be outright stupid to believe that he didn't bribe various Western politicians in an effort to obtain advanced weapons and deflect action against him. Now all we need is for some enterprising reporter to find this information.
Sound's perfectly reasonable actually. It falls totally in line with the notion that France is doing this to really and permanently hurt us-- which makes them semantically, if not more, an enemy of the U.S.
Does the outcome of the war affect the dissolution of the SC? Does France have an interest in having us fail and will they actively pursue our failure?
I prefer the theory that they're afraid of having the evidence of 12 years of arms dealing with Iraq brought to light.
But it really doesn't matter--you're either with us or against us. They've made their position clear. The reason doesn't matter anymore.
posted on 03/10/2003 7:43:21 AM PST
There only motive is to undermine the U. S.. IMHO, Too stupid to go beyond that.
I don't even think a bribe would account for France's actions. They are really over the top. The whistlestop tour in Africa to lobby against our lobbying efforts. It's one thing to say, "hey, we don't want you to do this and you won't have our vote." It's another to say, "we are going to focus resources-- time, money, etc.-- to defeat you." That's what the French are doing and it is behavior you'd expect from Iraq-- the country we are attacking-- and not France.
I'm convinced there's something more than meets the eye about this. It's not about a difference of opinion-- this is bigger.
They said Reagan was too stupid, too.
It's a mistake of the left to dismiss so easily your opponents. The grand scale of French opposition is more than just their being mad at us. They understand the ramifications of their actions and they have decided that it's smart to bet against us. We shouldn't just say they are stupid to bet against us. This is a country and not some schmuck at the track. France must know that there are "pros" to opposing us-- and some of those may be based on how the war goes, which means France may meddle in that, too.
Well, we're all pretty cocky about what will happen. IF (big if, granted), the US gets their comeuppance -- massive casulties, Saddam actually executes a scorched earth policy, and Iraq becomes totally unmanageable after a war, France could be sittin' pretty good in the world's eyes. AND the liberals in America will have lots of fodder.
The truth is, without GWB, we'd never have seen this much moxie from the US.
We are definitely at a VERY pivotal point in world history IMHO.
(and in all honesty, as a student of scripture, in the end, it will take J.C. himself to solve the world's mess)
Yes, I agree. I would be very surprised if Chirac hasn't been on Sadam's payroll since the 1970's. I don't think journalists have enough power to get this kind of info. out of private banks, but the US government probably does.
posted on 03/10/2003 7:56:36 AM PST
It matters if the French have chosen sides in the war and chosen Iraq (which may very well be the case)-- rather than be neutral. That means we are going to war against France, too-- because France will want to back the winning horse. We joke about them, but they could really harm our efforts to win in many ways.
"method to their madness" something totally overlooked here is that during the reign of the Clintons, France loved our government, ridiculed the "right" over a big deal being made about "sex".
The press in this country kept saying how Europe did things and they had "free sex" and it was not big deal. The press encouraging Americans to aspire to the European way of doing things.
These same Europeans came to Clintons defense, darn near made him a "god". The only thing that has changed is a Republican President who has let the world know his job is to protect America and stop Saddam and his deadly war toys, and freeing the people of Iraq.
All attention is given to France, Germany, Iraq, some days Russia, and China. It was the "left" in this country that demanded a UN involvement, and then suddenly out of nowhere up pops N. Korea, what we learn is that our very own Clinton gave the nuclear ability and fed them.
The "LEFT" in this country has tried to derail all actions of President Bush, remember Hillary standing up in the senate asking "What did he know and when did he know it" regarding 9/11, these words were the beginning of an organized "leftist" march to stop President Bush.
One could make a case that this whole nations in an uproar could be laid at the feet of the "LEFT" in this country, as another method of stopping President Bush, calling him selected not elected, illegitimate, cowboy, dumb, empire builder, etc...
Could it be that there is an orchestrated effort to do everything to cause failure, all in an attempt to unseat President Bush, and elect another fellow traveler.
Looks to me the "LEFTIST" and their arms anti-Bush protestors, Hollywood, etc... are the real enemy and France is willing to take the blame, because if Bush can be unseated then all is not lost.
It's hard to believe that they would have this much hubris...
The French? Land of Napoleon? And the Germans? Land of Hitler? Hard to believe they'd have enough hubris to imagine they could rule the world?
I don't think they will continue to stand so firmly.
Colonial arrogance leads the political elite to believe they can control, even manipulate these hordes to their advantage.
Exactly. Very key point.
In the end, it will take J.C. himself to solve the world's mess.
You are correct, Jesus Christ will solve the World's problems. In the meantime I believe GWB will solve these smaller issues.
Exactly. It's not out of the question that this could go horribly wrong, especially if France and Russia support Iraq. France and Russia have the power to aid Iraq in ways that could totally screw the war up for us-- and we couldn't say a single thing about it. It would probably be hard to prove: we can't even point out where Iraq's stockpiles of WMD are. Secondly, we were able to do this by making it seem manageable. There would be serious opposition to going to war with the French (and Russians), too, with people wondering how in the hell we managed to get into such a war.
You think the French will abstain?
To: Ancesthntr; UncleSamUSA; expatpat
It is not as outrageous a theory when you recall that Chirac has a decades long friendship with Saddam...
...and a centuries long enmity for the English.
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