Friday, July 30, 2004

Good Deeds for Iraq, International Brotherhood, and Global Stability

France was Europe's fiercest opponent of the U.S.-led war on Iraq. Critics accuse it of seeking to undermine NATO and curb U.S. influence.

"It looks like France is blocking an alliance consensus," said one diplomat at the 26-nation alliance's headquarters.

"There are 20-plus countries in favor of beginning the training mission inside Iraq next week, two or three are undecided — and there's one country blocking, that's France."

Diplomats said Paris is determined not to hand President Bush a show of international support for his Iraq policy before the Republican Party's pre-election convention, which opens at the end of August.

I thought you weren't supposed to intervene in other countries' internal affairs (?), but then again, what the Hell do I know…
Germany and Belgium are not enthusiastic about a NATO training mission, but have made it clear they would not stand in the way of the majority.

Baghdad has asked the NATO alliance for military equipment and protection for U.N. personnel as well as training for both its troops and border guards.

Well, who cares about what the Iraqis want, right? (a NATO presence, freedom from Saddam Hussein, etc…)
A team of NATO experts recently went to Iraq to explore the options, but France believes a second fact-finding mission should now be dispatched and it should report back in September.
Oh, right, those fact-finding missions, which those naïve Americans forgot are supposed to — I mean, "will definitely, without the shadow of a doubt" — solve all the world's ills…

(Thanks to Greg Schreiber)

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