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Backing Bush has won you nothing, Chirac tells Britain

Old 11-16-04, 01:02 AM
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Backing Bush has won you nothing, Chirac tells Britain

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...360889,00.html

JACQUES CHIRAC dealt a blow to Tony Blair’s attempt to heal the wounds between the US and Europe last night by saying that the Prime Minister had won nothing for supporting the war against Iraq.

As Mr Blair used a keynote speech to present Britain as a “bridge across the Atlantic”, President Chirac doubted whether anyone could play the “honest broker”. Speaking before he visits London on Thursday, he said that it was not in the nature of this Administration to return favours.

Mr Blair suffered another setback when Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State and the administration figure most trusted by Europe, resigned. There were doubts over whether his successor, possibly Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Adviser, would be as accommodating.

M Chirac, speaking to British journalists, including The Times, soon after General Powell’s announcement, revealed that he had urged Mr Blair to demand the relaunch of the Middle East peace process in return for backing the war.

“Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see anything in return. I’m not sure it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically.”

In other remarks that will sting the Bush Administration, he again outlined his vision of a “multipolar” world in which a united Europe would be equal with the US, and mocked Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, for his division of Europe into old and new.

M Chirac said that there would be no division between Britain and France.

“It is like that nice guy in America — what’s his name again? — who spoke about ‘old Europe’. It has no sense. It’s a lack of culture to imagine that. Imagining that there can be division between the British and French vision of Europe is as absurd as imagining that we are building Europe against the United States.”

The comments underline the scale of the task facing Mr Blair as he tries to be a bridge between Europe and America, a job to which he devoted last night’s foreign policy speech at Guildhall in London.

The Prime Minister, aware that Mr Powell’s departure would be received with apprehension by European governments, bluntly told the US Administration to reach out to Europe and enlist its support in the war against terrorism.

“Multilateralism that works should be its aim. I have no sympathy for unilateralism for its own sake,” he said.

Mr Blair also said that Europe had a big opportunity because the US realised that lasting security against terrorism could not be provided by conventional military force but required a commitment to democracy and freedom.

Democracy was the meeting point for Europe and America. He was not advocating military solutions to achieve it but Europe and America should work together to bring democracy to places denied it.

He balanced his warning to the Americans by telling Europe that it was not sensible to ridicule US arguments or parody their political leaders.

Mr Blair hinted that he understood the difficulties, even before M Chirac’s intervention. He said that Britain’s role could be a bridge, a pivot or even a “damn high wire”.

M Chirac, whose visit to Britain concludes the Entente Cordiale anniversary celebrations, said: “I am not sure, with America as it is these days, that it would be easy for someone, even the British, to be an honest broker.”
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Old 11-16-04, 01:13 AM
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I would like to hear Chirac's comment on France's involvement in "Oil For Food."
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Old 11-16-04, 08:46 AM
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It’s a lack of culture to imagine that. Imagining that there can be division between the British and French vision of Europe is as absurd as imagining that we are building Europe against the United States.
Norman Invasion of England, (1066)
Anglo-French War, (1109-1113)
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Old 11-16-04, 08:55 AM
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I believe the appropriate response to Mr. Chirac should be: SUCK IT!

We should also cross France off the Allies list.
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Old 11-16-04, 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by AGuyNamedMike
Norman Invasion of England, (1066)
Anglo-French War, (1109-1113)
etc.
Now you're just making shit up. He said it was absurd!
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Old 11-16-04, 10:44 AM
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Hmmm, looks like France is starting things off on the right foot.

I'm all for France being relevant, but it just seems like he's looking for a united europe to balance against the US, even though he specifically mentioned that's not the goal. If that's not, then what is? Why get united, and bigger, when dealing with the US if it's not a antagonistic relationship?
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Old 11-16-04, 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by gcbrowni
Hmmm, looks like France is starting things off on the right foot.

I'm all for France being relevant, but it just seems like he's looking for a united europe to balance against the US, even though he specifically mentioned that's not the goal. If that's not, then what is? Why get united, and bigger, when dealing with the US if it's not a antagonistic relationship?
It's almost certainly the goal, and I'd ask him what has opposing Bush at every step gotten France?

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Old 11-16-04, 11:06 AM
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Europe will never be a superpower. They're too busy diverting money for their nanny-care system. That's gotten them a non-steller military and now they are having a hard time affording nanny-care.
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Old 11-16-04, 11:25 AM
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Mmmmmmm ... Nannies ...

I would tend to agree. The EU does not have a strong central authority, and thus will always have the problems it has now. Unless they each place some (large?) amount of power with a central authority they will always be crippled by indecision and infighting.

Is this similiar to the first government in the US, right after the revolution, when the states had far more power than they do today?

[Edit: The Articles of Confederation, from 1777-1787.]

Last edited by bryce0lynch; 11-16-04 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-16-04, 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by Birrman54
It's almost certainly the goal, and I'd ask him what has opposing Bush at every step gotten France?
Probably a lot more power, support and respect among the EU. Positioning themselves against the US is currently proping France up. I'm not so sure much would have changed had Kerry been elected.
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Old 11-16-04, 11:41 AM
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France is so insignificant these days, it's really not funny. Ok, it is that funny.
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Old 11-16-04, 11:50 AM
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“Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see anything in return. I’m not sure it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically.”
And he's absolutely correct. As I noted in another thread, and because of this fact, even your staunchest allies in Europe such as Poland are re-evaluating their relationship with the US. The Polish press and political analysts have called this change of views unprecedented. Note that this "re-evaluation" comes from the exact same argument Chirac is using for the Brits, i.e. what are we getting in return for our "let's blindly follow the US" policy.
There will come a time when the Brits will have to choose, and frankly they won't have much of a choice. They are Europeans not North Americans.

It is quite obvious that the Bush administration has absolutely no interest in seeing a strong Europe act as a counterweight to US power and that they won't tolerate being opposed by anyone. Which is why of course they do everything they can to create divisions in Europe. Of course one might argue that European unity is a pipedream and that they will always be bickering. I believe that some unity as far as foreign policy is concerned is possible and that most disagreements will tend to be on local affairs.

The irony of this is that on one hand, the US always bitches that Europe can't even take care of crisis in their own backyard (and they are right), but on the other hand they are not interested in a strong Europe. Example, they were against a EU rapid intervention force unless it was under NATO control. Of course the US controls NATO.

So, all French bashing aside, Chirac is completely right on that one.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by eXcentris
So, all French bashing aside, Chirac is completely right on that one.
many many people on this forum will disagree with you.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:02 PM
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I think its time people realize it is impossible to have "everyone" as your friend. Sides must be chosen, and fence-sitting is a dangerous game. The US is the #1 example.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by DVD Polizei
I think its time people realize it is impossible to have "everyone" as your friend. Sides must be chosen, and fence-sitting is a dangerous game. The US is the #1 example.
And that's exactly what I'm saying with regards to the Brits. At some point their position will become untenable. They will have to choose. And they are Europeans so they won't have much of a choice.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by Myster X
many many people on this forum will disagree with you.
Sure. But considering that this disagreement mostly consists of "the French suck!" I'm not really concerned about being proven wrong.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:13 PM
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The french standed their ground but dont keep saying it or rubbing it in everyones face...... remember.... they would be talking german now if it werent for the US
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Old 11-16-04, 12:15 PM
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eXcentris,

But Europeans don't have any money.

raven56706,

And they'll be speaking Arabic by 2020.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by DVD Polizei
eXcentris,

But Europeans don't have any money.

At this time you're not looking that good in that department either.
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Old 11-16-04, 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by eXcentris

It is quite obvious that the Bush administration has absolutely no interest in seeing a strong Europe act as a counterweight to US power and that they won't tolerate being opposed by anyone.
I call 'Silly' on this.

Why does Europe have to act as a counterweight to the US? Are we diametrically opposed on most fronts with our militaries breathing down on each other? Of course not. Of course we disagree on some things. A good example is how much and when to intervene in another country. The US is always willing to listen to people, allies, non-aligned, or enemies, but tha doesn't mean we're going to abandon our core values. Nor do we expect Europe to abandon theirs, no matter how wrong they may appear to us. We're always ready to thoughfully listen to European opinion, and we're always ready to accept European help, but just because Europe doesn't agree doesn't mean we're not going to do something.

This is not the US vs. EU. This is the free world vs. the f'ing idiots, the same way it's always been since there's BEEN a free world.. We don't always agree, but that doesn't mean we're ready to come to blows.
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Old 11-16-04, 01:06 PM
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Sorry but I don't agree. It's not a question of coming to blows and I'm not suggesting that the core values of the US and Europe are in direct opposition. It's a question of balance of power. The US is the world's only superpower and one can understand why they don't want to share it or see it opposed. Much of the rest of the world however feels otherwise, i.e. that a balance of power is required to maintain some sort of equilibrium. It's the unilateralism vs multilateralism clash. The US (the Bush admin) has absolutely no interest in seeing a strong and united Europe getting in the way of it's foreign policy. What do you think all these "old Europe" comments were for? To create division.

You should read the 1st National Security Strategy document (Sept. 2002) that outlines the foreign policy of the Bush admin.

Last edited by eXcentris; 11-16-04 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 11-16-04, 01:17 PM
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A strong and united Europe, which is in everyones best interest, can't get in the way of US foreign policy because the foreign policy of the US is not based upon european acceptance of it, in exacty the same way that the foreign policy of France is not based upon the US, British, or Polish acceptance of it.

And again, what balance? Balance implies we don't agree ... but we DO agree.

Saying the US doesn't want to share or see US power opposed is silly. You're right, we don't want to share or be opposed by nutso religions zealots like the Taliban. But, we're not in that situation with Europe or the rest of the free world. The relationship with a free Europe is, and always will be, a win-win situation. The US doesn't have to loose, nor does Europe.
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Old 11-16-04, 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by eXcentris
Sorry but I don't agree. It's not a question of coming to blows and I'm not suggesting that the core values of the US and Europe are in direct opposition. It's a question of balance of power. The US is the world's only superpower and one can understand why they don't want to share it or see it opposed. Much of the rest of the world however feels otherwise, i.e. that a balance of power is required to maintain some sort of equilibrium. It's the unilateralism vs multilateralism clash. The US (the Bush admin) has absolutely no interest in seeing a strong and united Europe getting in the way of it's foreign policy. What do you think all these "old Europe" comments were for? To create division.

You should read the 1st National Security Strategy document (Sept. 2002) that outlines the foreign policy of the Bush admin.
the US is only strong because our economic system enables us to support an incredible level of production, investment and a nice military. if europe wants to be at the same level, they need to change some of the economic and social policies they have in order to promote growth. China, India and Taiwan have figured this out, maybe Europe will someday too. until that day comes they need to stop crying about how the Us won't support kyoto.
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Old 11-16-04, 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by eXcentris
There will come a time when the Brits will have to choose, and frankly they won't have much of a choice. They are Europeans not North Americans.
Damnit, eX! Stop trying to use logic - that doesn't fly around here!!!



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Old 11-16-04, 01:39 PM
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There will come a time when the Brits will have to choose, and frankly they won't have much of a choice. They are Europeans not North Americans.
Distance has never stopped the Canadians from thinking they are Europeans and not North Americans
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