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Chirac basks in warm glow of adulation (gag)
The Guardian (U.K.) ^ | 03/12/03 | Jon Henley

Posted on 03/11/2003 6:34:56 PM PST by Pokey78

President takes plaudits for veto promise

Jacques Chirac basked yesterday in an unprecedented show of adulation as newspapers, commentators and politicians of all hues showered the French president with praise for his promise to veto a UN resolution giving the green light for an attack on Iraq.

The possible longer-term economic and political consequences for France of the president's move, as well as the impact on world order as expressed in the United Nations, were largely ignored as the nation rallied proudly round a leader whom the Catholic newspaper La Croix compared to Nelson Mandela.

The contrast between Mr Chirac's domestic popularity and the travails of the British prime minister yesterday could not be more extreme.

But analysts warned of severe diplomatic turbulence ahead as the United States, in particular, works out how to respond to what many here see as France's most deliberate challenge yet to US international ambitions.

"Chirac: No" screeched the bright red front page of the left-leaning Libération, followed by the verdict: "A decision that will secure his place in history ... In step with public opinion, Chirac is the incarnation of opposition to American unilateralism."

The populist Le Parisien went with "Chirac to Bush - It's No", and described the president as appearing "astonishingly calm under the circumstances", while the rightist Le Figaro unblushingly called him "utterly sure of himself; a white knight for peace, herald of the world's oppressed, ardent defender of a multipolar world".

Even Le Monde, among the most hostile of Mr Chirac's critics, denounced American "neo-imperialism" and said Mr Chirac's "noble and pertinent" aim was to "affirm a conception of world order in which the use of force is the last recourse and multilateralism is the rule".

The leaders of every major party, from the Communists to the far-right National Front, were equally effusive, reflecting opinion polls that consistently show more than 80 per cent of the French oppose war.

The Communist leader, Marie-Georges Buffet, praised a "just and dignified decision". The opposition Socialist party's François Hollande hailed the president's pronouncement as "principled and proper", Mr Chirac's own UMP party lauded his "authority, clarity and strength". Even his arch-enemy, Jean-Marie Le Pen, said that he "approved such firm resolution to act against war".

But amid the trumpet-blowing, few questioned whether the French president had any coherent vision of exactly where France's "battle against US hegemony" may lead. Similarly, few speculated on the bilateral consequences for France.

During a television interview on Monday, Mr Chirac played down the significance of a French security council veto, pointing out that the US had employed the tactic 76 times since the UN's foundation in 1946, Britain 32 times and France 18 times - the last in 1989 over Panama.

He also insisted France was not anti-American. "To suggest so would be absurd," he said.

But France has not vetoed a US initiative since the Suez crisis in 1956.

The political commentator, Alain Duhamel, said a French veto would be "a form of divorce" between America and France.

Guillaume Parmentier, of the French Centre on the United States, said the political cost could be high. Washington would very probably "freeze France out on any number of political and diplomatic questions".

French companies, which between them exported more than $28bn (£17.5bn) of goods and services to the US last year, fear a backlash.

But companies, such as those in the defence and aerospace industries, that deal directly with the US administration will be hit, and France's tourism industry may suffer. Some analysts also say that France has little idea of the impact on the UN of the current crisis.

"What's at stake for them here, the bottom line of all this, is the way the international community manages future problems - France's whole vision of the way the world should be run," one diplomat said. "But what is that vision?"

One of the first words the French president uttered during his TV interview was "multipolar". The idea of four or five more or less balanced power blocs in the world had been "very much part of Chirac's thinking since the end of the cold war", said Mr Parmentier.

The problem, said another commentator, Philippe Moreau Defarges of the French Institute for International Relations, is that no one - least of all Mr Chirac - seems to have worked out clearly how this new "multipolar" world might function.

The UN will probably survive the crisis, but only after radical reform, Mr Defarges said. What it will look like afterwards is anyone's guess, "but if Mr Chirac has a coherent strategic vision on that question, he certainly hasn't exposed it".


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/11/2003 6:34:56 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Saddam says "Jackie,come back to bed....."


2 posted on 03/11/2003 6:36:56 PM PST by finnman69 (!)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Siobhan; american colleen; Domestic Church; sandyeggo; Romulus
One of the first words the French president uttered during his TV interview was "multipolar". The idea of four or five more or less balanced power blocs in the world had been "very much part of Chirac's thinking since the end of the cold war", said Mr Parmentier.

So the New World Order finally comes out and says it. Chirac has described the driving spirit behind the EU as well as NAFTA, in my opinion.

The Bible prophecy folk will love this admission.

4 posted on 03/11/2003 6:42:09 PM PST by Maeve (Siobhan's daughter and sometime banshee.)
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To: sparky samson; a_Turk
Aah, where's the French ambiguity and sophistication they so proclaim for themselves? Turns out they're bunch of insecure teenagers.
5 posted on 03/11/2003 6:47:01 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Pokey78
But analysts warned of severe diplomatic turbulence ahead as the United States, in particular, works out how to respond to what many here see as France's most deliberate challenge yet to US international ambitions.

Just wait til those little Paris eateries and hotels are empty this summer.

And American Airlines cancels its Airbus orders.

And Americans suddenly prefer Ozarka to Evian.

These cheese-eaters ain't seen nothin' yet. When France drops into recession, what will Chirac's "subjects" think of him then?

6 posted on 03/11/2003 6:47:04 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: sparky samson
When Bagdad falls and Jacque the crack is exposed what he is there will be a one man (worm)march on the Bastille. His days are numbered. How proud the french will be when they are faced with the truth.
7 posted on 03/11/2003 6:48:55 PM PST by Adrastus
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To: Pokey78
Mr. Chirac is in no way a "herald of the world's oppressed," since he is perfectly willing to allow a vicious mass murderer like Saddam Hussein go scott free in perpetrating his crimes, and is against promoting the benefits of democracy and human rights in the Middle East. Moreover, he is not a champion of multilateralism, since he wants to emasculate the Security Council, which should be the world's policeman against rogue states (not the US), by ruling out a definite threat of force to encorce Security Council resolutions if compliance is not obtained or reasonably obtainable through other means.
8 posted on 03/11/2003 6:49:35 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Pokey78
Jacques Chirac basked yesterday in an unprecedented show of adulation

I'm bookmarking this thread. I want to be able to reference it quickly twelve months from now. Let's just see how much French adulation for Chirac exists a year from today.

9 posted on 03/11/2003 6:56:43 PM PST by CharacterCounts
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To: Pokey78
I'll postulate this; in any reformed or re-consituted UN, there will be no "Security Council" where France has veto power.
10 posted on 03/11/2003 7:02:23 PM PST by John Valentine (Writing from downtown Seoul, keeping an eye on the hills to the north.)
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To: CharacterCounts

11 posted on 03/11/2003 7:03:05 PM PST by AntiDemocrat
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To: Pokey78
" ..... La Croix compared to Nelson Mandela. "

Talk about a left-handed compliment!!
12 posted on 03/11/2003 7:16:24 PM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Shermy
>> a leader whom the Catholic newspaper La Croix compared to Nelson Mandela.

I watched Mr. Mandela on TV suggesting that Mr. Bush was unable to think. His sophisticated South African audience was tickled.

Mr. Mandela is also a critic of Turkey. He is critical of Turkey's war on terror.

Was he ever considered a terrorist, or was he more like a Ghandi?
13 posted on 03/11/2003 7:16:54 PM PST by a_Turk
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To: a_Turk
Whatever he was, he flipped on the War on Terror. Came out like a statesman first. Then started taking speaking fees from Gulf states. He's been bought out. Now takes an elitist Western European attitude.
14 posted on 03/11/2003 9:19:01 PM PST by Shermy
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To: a_Turk
Mandela's critics and political opponents would find themselves with a tire forced over them and then being lit on fire. "Necklacing" it was called.
15 posted on 03/11/2003 11:56:01 PM PST by Mortimer Snavely (Is anyone else tired of reading these tag lines?)
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To: a_Turk
He was and still IS a bloody terrorist ! Nelson is also a stinking COMMIE, who LOVES all other stinking COMMIES.
16 posted on 03/11/2003 11:57:56 PM PST by nopardons
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To: Mortimer Snavely
Necklacing wasn't the worst of it. Mandela also had people killed in other ways as well. So did his then wife.
17 posted on 03/11/2003 11:59:33 PM PST by nopardons
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To: John Valentine
I'll postulate this; in any reformed or re-consituted UN, there will be no "Security Council" where France has veto power.

This is the UN's dance of death. In the minds of France and Germany, there is no longer a need for the UN. With the inauguration of the EU controlled "International Criminal Court" and the Franco/German dominance of the EU leadership the UN has outlived its usefulness.

18 posted on 03/12/2003 12:11:52 AM PST by Texasforever
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To: nopardons; Mortimer Snavely; Shermy
>> necklacing

I don't get it then..

Has he comitted any crimes since his release?
19 posted on 03/12/2003 4:13:16 AM PST by a_Turk
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To: Texasforever
I read here the other day that there have been 26 episodes of "military action" taken since the 1950's. Of those, only 3 had prior UN Security Council approval: The Korean War errr Conflict, the Gulf War, and the war in Afghanistan. Obviously, all three brought to the UN by the US. Since we are the only ones "playing by the rules", seems as if the UN has never been of any importance to anyone except for us. Time to bury this horrible monster once and for all.
20 posted on 03/12/2003 4:26:45 AM PST by Wyatt's Torch
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To: Pokey78
He also insisted France was not anti-American. "To suggest so would be absurd," he said."

Too late, pal. Americans are now anti-French.

21 posted on 03/12/2003 4:34:35 AM PST by Right_in_Virginia (May God bless President Bush and our troops)
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To: Pokey78

22 posted on 03/12/2003 4:41:58 AM PST by TheRedSoxWinThePennant
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To: a_Turk
Once his power base was established, Mandela had no need of further terror. He got to play the imprisoned freedom fighter, then became President.

He is now some sort of senior retiree whose opinion is used to support a host of left-wing causes and policies.

The terror in South Africa is now diffused against all in the form of endemic violent crime, disintegrating institutions and social units, in a general environment of a war of all against all. Need I add that that poor country is suffering horrors beyond the popular imagination during the darkest days of apartheid?

23 posted on 03/12/2003 8:10:42 AM PST by Mortimer Snavely (Is anyone else tired of reading these tag lines?)
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