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March 25, 2002

Shouting against amnesia Chris Bertram of Junius has a post — with quotes from a former Tory Defense Secretary — addressing the belief, common in the blog world, that modern America is always ready to fight for freedom while the perfidious French are always eager to negotiate it away. [08:59 PM]
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Comments on Shouting against amnesia:

Graham Sleight ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2002, 03:08 PM:

Sure, it's over-simplistic to say that the US is always freedom-fighting and the French are always appeasers. But I don't think the French position in the Falklands conflict necessarily deserves special praise. Surely they were doing what the US was and acting in what they thought was their national self-interest. After all, France is an ex-colonial power with more than a few loose ends left around the globe, and they might well have supported the Falklands War as a useful precedent for the future. Equally, the US had quite close ties to the Galtieri regime (including arms sales, if memory serves), and I'm sure would have preferred them not to have been overthrown and potentially replaced by the Red Menace. Their positions in 1982 were likely just realpolitik at work, and the same is probably true now. aaAnd I guess the worry in Europe about the idea of overthrowing the Iraqi regime is that it's just not clear why it's in our national interests to do _this_, _now_. (Or that where politicians have tried to make the case for intervention, as is happening increasingly here in the UK, a lot of people aren't convinced by the arguments. Far fewer people trust Tony Blair than a year ago.) What, in specific terms, is the evidence of a link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda? Why is the US so determined to go ahead outside the UN structures? What steps are being taken to ensure the rest of the Middle East doesn't explode? These are good questions which Bush hasn't provided good answers to.