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Who is our real enemy?
In the past weeks, french fries have become Freedom Fries in much of the country. In other parts, Americans are calling for a boycott of all American merchandise. Have we forgotten who our real enemy is?
This is hardly the first time in American history that a country, friend or enemy, has voiced public disagreement with the United States. In addition, France is hardly the only nation in the world that has not supported President Bush’s wish to invade Iraq. Other close allies like Russia have, like France, threatened to veto any resolution put before the United Nations that gave the United States the authority to attack Iraq. No country, including France, has come out publicly with support of Saddam Hussein or what he was allegedly making – chemical and biological weapons. No nation publicly endorsed Saddam Hussein’s regime either. Most nations agree that Saddam Hussein is a vicious dictator and should be dealt with severely. It all comes down to how to deal with him.
France, like Russia and Germany, believe that the UN weapons inspectors should have been given more time. Yet, interestingly Americans only seem to be upset about France’s lack of US support. However, now that war has been underway for almost a month weapons inspectors is obviously no longer an option today. Most political scientists would agree that the US is not going to pull out of Iraq until there is a complete regime change. Therefore, the problem of disarming Iraq has been addressed. But what must the world do? The US-led coalition has been operating inside Iraq for weeks now and yet no considerable weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have been found or positively identified. Therefore, some could argue that the US’ method of disarming Iraq is not fool-proof either.
The Bush administration has said that Saddam Hussein was not merely a threat to the United States but to indeed the world. If this is true, should the world not have the right to have a voice in deciding the best means in defending itself?
France has never been a nation that gave into every demand of the United States. It has, rather, thought in terms of the best interest of its own people and its well being in the future. However, instead of respecting, if not saluting, France for its courage in disagreeing with the world’s only remaining superpower, President Bush, and many Americans, is attempting to isolate the sovereign state from the rest of the world unless it gives into the wants and demands of the United States of America. It seems to me that that is exactly one of the main reasons for the current war with Iraq – to ensure that Iraq never has the power to blackmail other nations into following its wishes regardless of what the rest of the world wants.
Saddam Hussein is an evil man, it goes without question; he killed his own people as well his own family in brutal manners. And without question, Saddam Hussein would love to know that the war that led to his potential death also led to the death of good relations between France and the United States.
Since the war drums began to beat in Washington, French-American relations have suffered. The American people have not helped the problem. Instead of supporting France for trying to tell its American friend that it was making, what it saw as a big mistake, Americans have created more French jokes and calls to boycott French products. If that were not enough, the very people that are in the position to help save our relationship with France are likewise endangering it. Many high-ranking Representatives have made French jokes publicly as well as changing the name of French Fries to Freedom fries in their cafeterias. We must not forget that Iraq is our enemy in this conflict – not France.
As time for reconstruction of the Middle-Eastern nation approaches, we should all keep in mind that we should also find a way to reconstruct our alliance with France. It is an important and crucial one that we should not look at lightly.
Whether you agree with this war or not, do you think it is really worth severing one of the strongest alliances that the United States has? We must think of what long-term effects this conflict will have on relations throughout the world.
One day the European Union, with which France is a member, may one day rival the power of the United States. Would it not be best to work out our problems now peacefully and avoid another cold war?