Tuesday, December 14, 2004

1954: The U.S. Does Not Want to "Hinder the Progress of Negotiations Between France and" a Third Country

Remember how Uncle Sam, when recently asked by France to vote in favor of an arms ban to Ivory Coast, voted as Paris asked it to, with apparently no malice whatsoever nor a desire for tit-for-tatness? In the IHT's archives section, it is noted that 50 years ago, something similar happened:
Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. said today [Dec. 13, 1954] that the United States would not support a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly for Moroccan independence negotiations. Lodge, chief U.S. delegate to the United Nations, told the Political Committee that the resolution, proposed by 12 Arab and Asian nations, contained wording that "might hinder the progress of negotiations between France and Morocco." He did not seem to be suggesting that such negotiations were already in progress. The resolution calls for them, and delegates speaking for it have declared repeatedly that there are none on now. Since Lodge did not say the United States would vote against the resolution, it was assumed that it would abstain.
Granted, neither yesterday's case nor today's is enough to make generalizations about America, but still, isn't it funny how the the perfidious Uncle Sam we always hear about from French intellectuals, leaders, and periodicals often seems to wield its power responsibly?

(Meanwhile, the 75 years ago section mentions the forging of "another link in the chain of historic amity between France and the United States" when the American ambassador to Paris arrived at Le Havre under "an omen of continued friendship"…)

FYI, incidentally, I believe that the content of the IHT's archives link changes daily, so by tomorrow there should be a different text on the hyperlink…

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