Jewish World Review March 20, 2003 / 16 Adar II, 5763
Did I misunderstand the French?
I thought I understood their position
until now. I thought they were saying, "Yes, we
all know Saddam has at least some weapons of
mass destruction. Yes, he's used them in the
past, but we think the inspections are working,
Saddam is disarming, and therefore, war is
completely inappropriate." But now I'm not so
Now, the French ambassador to the United
States says if Saddam uses chemical or biological weapons
against U.S. troops, it would "Change completely the
perception and situation for us."
Why? Do they now doubt that Saddam actually has the
weapons or that he would use them? Do they now doubt
the 1999 U.N. Special Commission report that said
Saddam has not accounted for thousands of gallons of
anthrax, thousands of chemical warfare weapons, hundred
of tons of material to produce VX nerve agents, thousands
of shells for use in biological warfare. Do they now doubt
that the U.N. resolution, 1441, put the burden on Saddam
to prove they were destroyed? And since Saddam has used
them against his own people in the past, why wouldn't he
use them again?
I think most everyone hopes he doesn't, but still
expects him to try, everyone it seems except the French. A
spokesman in the foreign minister's Paris office downplayed
the comments telling CNN it was a response to a -"strictly
hypothetical question", as if it's such a long shot.
Do they really have their heads so deep in the sand or
are they just trying to find a position that would allow them
to join in reshaping a post-war Iraq? Assuming the French
mean what they say, I'm not sure I understand exactly what
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