Thursday, April 24, 2003

France will pay for war stance, Powell says (London Guardian, April 24, 2003)

The White House clearly remains angry that France's threat to use its security council veto prevented it getting a further resolution authorising military action.

Asked on a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) talk show whether France would suffer consequences for trying to frustrate war plans, Mr Powell answered yes.

"We have to look at all aspects of our relationship in the light of this," he said.

"We didn't believe that France was playing a helpful role [at the UN], there is no secret about that."

Mr Powell is known to feel personally let down by his French counterpart, Dominique de Villepin, who insisted in January on attending a UN session on counter-terrorism and then, without warning Mr Powell, staged a press conference vowing to oppose military action in Iraq.

As noted earlier, Powell has a tough job working for an institution that has to rely on the words of others. He's right to punish France. Otherwise the world will learn that standing in our way has no consequences. I’ve heard a lot of commentators say that it is petty to make France pay for their disloyalty. They say that attitude is simplistic and harmful to world relations.

Friendships in the world are based on trust and mutual understanding. France didn’t just oppose us, but tried to line up other countries to vote against us. It may be principled to disagree, but hardly friendly to line up opposition. If actions aren't followed by consequences, we'll soon have no one left to count on.

No comments:

Post a Comment