Tuesday, February 18, 2003

*Sigh* It looks like Chirac has been taking diplomacy lessons from Donald Rumsfeld.
Chirac lashes out at 'new Europe' BRUSSELS, Belgium -- French President Jacques Chirac has attacked eastern European countries hoping to join the EU, saying they missed a great opportunity to "shut up" when they signed letters backing the U.S. position on Iraq. France has been a leading voice against Washington's press for war in Iraq to disarm President Saddam Hussein and is insisting weapons inspectors in the country be given more time. But 13 countries either set to join the EU or in membership talks have signed letters supporting the United States. Chirac said: "These countries have been not very well behaved and rather reckless of the danger of aligning themselves too rapidly with the American position." "It is not really responsible behavior. It is not well brought-up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet." "I felt they acted frivolously because entry into the European Union implies a minimum of understanding for the others," Chirac said. Chirac called the letters "infantile" and "dangerous," adding: "They missed a great opportunity to shut up."
While I agree with the French position on Iraq I am more then disappointed that Chirac would resort to this kind of rhetoric. Just because the pro-war side has to act like children does not mean we should emulate them. The countries that signed those letters have just as much right to express their opinion on this matter as anyone else. Chirac just set back the anti-war effort enormously by his stupid comments. The sad thing is that the media in the U.S. will trumpet this as an example of the immaturity of the French while completely ignoring the fact that Chirac's behavior is simply a mirror of that from the Bush administration officials. Where are the grownups in this debate?

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