Monday, April 21, 2003
A Succinct Precis of Franco-German Contradictions - 21st April 2003, 20.53

The editor of New Perspectives Quarterly examines the record of France and Germany leading up to the war. He concludes that their objectives were honourable, their approach deluded.

That seems to be where we are headed. Despite their truly significant contributions to the fight against Al Qaeda—France and Germany have joined illiberal Russia and undemocratic China to check the United States, having concluded that an unbound superpower—even if it is a democray—is a greater threat than mass destruction weapons in hostile hands.

This betrayal—not so much of America but of any real understanding of the power relations required to sustain a liberal order globally—is an historic mistake that Britain’s Tony Blair avoided, even at the risk of siding with Bush’s folly.

In the end, it is the anti-Americanism of France and Germany that has contributed most to the demise of the UN and the Atlantic Alliance. Evidently, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder see the multilateral UN primarily as an arena where they can compensate for their own weakness by blocking American power, even though the credibility and effectiveness of the UN itself rests on that very American power! Believing that might cannot be right, they decided to do the wrong thing to try to stop it.


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