France, Germany, Russia, and China
can be called the "axis of hegemon has-beens", those UN foot-draggers who
had once been a dominating power but which
have fallen for one reason or another and have not been able to
regain an acceptable place in the sun. The Arab world had an illustrious
period and could even make a come-back — with the arrival of an enlightened
In the banlieues (slums) of Paris the petty gangsters impose their hegemony by use of a pit-bull (dog). They are personified by the rap-singer Joey Starr, known for his violent attacks on an ex-girlfriend and an in-flight stewardess — as well as on a pet monkey — a popular folk hero on glitterati TV shows (of the state-controlled TV channels). He considers himself victim for the resultant legal hassles. Did Chirac want to use Saddam Hussein as his own pit-bull? As the French anti-Semites used the German Nazis to overcome their cowardice in dealing with the Jews?
Many of us face a moral dilemma, wanting to work for peace but not wanting to be used by those who lead the protests for their own agenda. How judge the real motives of Chirac and the peaceniks? Maybe the best indication is whether they offer feasible alternatives — of which there have been several:
The delaying tactics of de Villepin in the UN are in the French tradition of procédures dilatoires allowed by the courts for pettifogger lawyers to aid predatory clients in their vile deeds. In this case it only serves Saddam to perfect his doomsday weapons, thanks especially to France, Germany and Russia. Chirac and de Villepin have suddenly become single-minded devotees of a debatable legalism, when it comes to the US/UK action. Suffice it to say that Chirac is a scofflaw par excellence in this regard, as with his nuclear tests in the Pacific. See video clips on affairistes (Elf, Dumas, Chirac cronies, ... ) declared innocent by incredible manipulations of law and procedures.
What could Paris gain from a Saddam Hussein holding the world in hostage? 30% of the French wished that Saddam defeat the Anglos (another 30% approved the military action). It would of course mean the end of American hegemony as well as the end of that other people "sur de lui et dominateur" who stand in the way of French cultural hegemony. The new masters from Tikrit would surely spare Paris as an anything-goes playground (ie: brothel), an arrangement that would satisfy many French — as the Vichy period showed.
France is trying a post-war takeover
of Iraq through the UN, a ploy that would give it the best chance of restoring its influence, having been the
favoured partner of Saddam along with Russia in the UN's Oil for Food programme.
Its funds have been handled by a French administrator without public scrutiny through the French BNP bank.
Saddam has personally benefited from generous kickbacks in this as
well as in sanction-violating
deals. Of course, France SA will want to collect on Saddam's past debts
and make his successors honour his contracts.
If Iraq can be confided to those who
really wish it a healthy future — and there are many progressive-minded Muslims
(Iraqis and others) with this sentiment — then it can become a shining beacon
in this part of the world, giving hope and impetus to reformers. Friends
from the new Europe can contribute their expertise while boosting
their own economies and cultures. The danger is that the cronies of
the old regime and their street thugs turn to gangsterism — as in the Balkans
and Afghanistan. The civilised world will have to learn how
to overthrow the ever-sprouting rogue regimes and establish long-term peace
and justice for their people. And those of the Muslim world will hopefully
realise that they've been hoodwinked by crude propaganda, that they are abandoned
by their fair-weather friends who exploited them, inciting them to violence.
We might despair of salvaging those who have been indoctrinated
from birth with an intolerant dogma and hatred for other peoples (sects, fundamentalist
churches and Nazism in the West being examples),
but there are ample cases of persons emerging from this pathology, especially
after having lived some time and being
accepted in a healthy liberal society. Nowadays this therapeutic experience can
be vicariously gained through well-done audio-visual productions (TV, DVD,
Internet). The most open to humanist values are young women, who can
set the fashion and tempt/shame the menfolk into a path of honour.