Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Ultimate Hypocrisy

Today, in a speech at the Elysee Palace, France's President Jacques Chirac said the following:
"The leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would consider using in one way or another weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part."
Reuters reports that "[I]t was the first time he had so clearly linked the threat of a nuclear response to a terrorist attack." So let me get this straight, Jack. You are against a U.S.-led war to depose Saddam Hussein and bring freedom to Iraq, but it's quite alright for you to respond to a terrorist attack in much the same fashion, possibly even resorting to a nuclear reply. It doesn't work both ways, i.e. you can't respond to a terrorist attack if you don't know where your attackers are from and what nations are helping them.

Perhaps Afghanistan's Taliban regime was the sole abettor of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda forces, but where does that leave other Islamo-fascists like Hamas? Iraq posed a threat to its own citizens and surely would soon have posed a threat to Israel and other free nations. So what's to stop Saddam's brutal regime from fostering terrorist groups? Can we take the chance of attacking one bad egg while leaving another alone to grow into something much worse?

Just to show Chirac's uber-hypocrisy, here are some juicy quotes from his reactions to the War in Iraq:
"To a certain extent Saddam Hussein's departure was a positive thing," Mr. Chirac said in an interview broadcast on the BBC Newsnight television program. "But it also provoked reactions, such as the mobilization in a number of countries of men and women of Islam, which has made the world more dangerous." (source)

Reacting to the onset of war despite French efforts to prevent it, Chirac last Thursday expressed his "regret at the actions being undertaken without the authorisation of the United Nations", saying that France "had made every effort to argue that the necessary disarmament of Iraq could be obtained by peaceful means". (source)
Not that any of this comes as a surprise, but European hypocrisy is still a dangerous thing. Remember that our beloved United States only represents one-fifth of the United Nations Security Council, and three-fifths of that body are far from being U.S.-friendly. Luckily we have a new ally in Germany's new chancellor, Angela Merkel. Even in the worst case, she's much better than Schroeder.

Nevertheless, Chirac's comments today are disturbingly similar to Bush's hard-line stance on terrorism. Could this shift have something to do with an impending presidential election in early 2007 that his party hopes to perform well in? Although Chirac will probably not run for a third term, his latest term has been highly unpopular, and if the French people go to the polls upset with him, they could very well take it out on his party.

Whatever the case, I still find Chirac's comments to be highly perplexing ...

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