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France offers Iraq rebuilding aid

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Doomsday101, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is in Iraq to offer help in rebuilding the country and promoting national reconciliation.

    Mr Kouchner, whose visit began in the southern city of Nasiriya, is holding talks with senior officials.

    France was one of the fiercest critics of the 2003 US-led invasion, and this is Mr Kouchner's second visit to Iraq in less than a year.

    He told reporters his message was one of "peace and co-operation".

    He also announced four Iraqi children would undergo heart surgery in France.

    Mr Kouchner landed at a US base in Nasiriya, hours after it came under attack.

    He held talks with Shia Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who lived in exile in France when Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, before being taken on a tour of the ancient city of Ur.

    Mr Kouchner is also due to open a French diplomatic office in Irbil, in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

    Mr Kouchner, who is co-founder of the international organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres, arrived in Iraq from Jordan, where he signed an agreement to help the country develop its nuclear energy programme.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7429074.stm
  2. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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  3. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    See, The french are not always as bad as people make them out to be. Notice I said not ALWAYS.:D
  4. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    They must be getting worried they will need us to protect them from Iran ....


    :D I keed I keed!
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    One thing is the new President Nicolas Sarkozy is very pro American more so than Jacques Chirac who even criticized Nicolas Sarkozy for being too Pro American
  6. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    According to the latest polls, by spring 2007 the president of France could well be Nicolas Sarkozy, the man who The Washington Post described as "not your everyday French politician."[1] For a start, the current French Interior Minister and leader of the UMP conservative party is pro-American. He understands that the war on terrorism is the world's fight and not one America should have to bear alone. He grasps the nature of the threat facing Continental Europe from Muslim extremism and favors fighting terrorism head-on and without apology. His worldview is not one that ends in the Michelin-starred restaurants of Paris. Further, he is vocally enthusiastic about the Anglo-Saxon economic model and keen to shake up the statist, government-centered French economy with a hefty dose of innovation and entrepreneurialism. So if Nicolas Sarkozy does become president next year, what exactly will it mean for U.S. interests?

    Sarkozy and U.S. Foreign Policy

    It looks increasingly likely that the ineffective Jacques Chirac will be forced to make way for his younger and more popular colleague to take his party's presidential nomination in January 2007. Having openly flaunted his ambitions for some time, Mr. Sarkozy has used his many elected and appointed political offices to set out a powerful manifesto for the presidency. And for American strategic interests, it is a good one.

    As chief pretender to the throne, Sarkozy has recently taken it upon himself to conduct his own foreign policy while abroad, independent of the traditional Gaullist line. Chirac's well-reported fury at Sarkozy's pro-American rhetoric during a U.S. visit in September 2006 indicates just how far Sarkozy is willing to go to distance himself from what he sees as the ancien régime.[2]

    Chirac's ire has risen following Sarkozy's successful Washington visit, which was timed to mark the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. During this trip, Sarkozy was as honest about the fractured Franco-American relationship as he was unabashed in his pro-American remedy for the problem. His speech at the French Embassy was breathtaking by French standards:



    The crisis our two countries experienced in 2003 was probably the gravest since 1966, when American forces withdrew from French NATO bases…. You Americans were struck in the heart on September 11, 2001, and never understood our opposition to the intervention in Iraq. Some of you, to call a spade a spade, even felt it as a form of betrayal.[3]

    It is an open secret that Sarkozy was critical of Chirac's vocal opposition to the Iraq War in 2003, an issue that dogs Franco-American relations to this day. In his September 2006 interview with Le Monde, Sarkozy said that this period marked a "crisis" for Franco-American relations and that "Americans felt that they were abandoned by a nation with which they had felt close historical ties and shared values."[4] Chirac, in turn, described Sarkozy's comments as "irresponsible" and "lamentable."[5]

    Sarkozy's stance on the Israeli-Lebanon war represented another break with French foreign policy. Sarkozy was not afraid to condemn Hezbollah as the aggressor and spoke up for Israel's right "to defend herself."[6] While urging that Israel should "maintain level headedness and restraint," he refused to join the European Union (EU) chorus calling for a total ceasefire.[7] In fact, his policy was remarkably similar to that of the United States and marked Sarkozy as a sensible voice on the Middle East in Europe.

    Sarkozy's efforts to combat disturbingly high levels of anti-Americanism in France have great significance for the overall war on terrorism.[8] One year after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, more than half of the French people believed that the U.S. motivation for the war on terror was to dominate the world.[9] Today, 76 percent of the French people believe that the war in Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein has made the world a more dangerous place.[10] For his part, Sarkozy has publicly acknowledged that Paris could just have easily been the target of the 9/11 terrorists and is adamant that anti-Americanism is not "a French thing." Sarkozy's "new" foreign policy is sending a powerful message right to the heart of Europe. His warm relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel quashes any prospect of the sort of anti-American axis between Berlin, Rome, and Paris that left-wing Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi might have hoped for.

    In all, the gulf growing between Chirac and his potential heir favors the United States. Ahead in the polls, Sarkozy may well be the next president of France. His victory would mean the chance for America to work more effectively with a medium-sized foreign power in ad hoc coalitions, such as in Afghanistan, and also that the U.S. would have a more genial partner within the EU and the United Nations Security Council. With huge foreign policy questions such as Iran and North Korea taking center stage, America will benefit from a more cooperative approach from the Élysée Palace.

    The White House should relish the prospect of a potential ally in Europe who rejects the rabid anti-Americanism that has become an integral part of modern French politics.
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Or maybe he wants to get contracts in Iraq in the future. I would imagine some of the Iraq government is happy that the US has gotten saddam out of power and helped them get their own government, however I also bet they are probably less than satisfied with some of the contracted workers and some of the bad jobs they have done, or have not done.
  8. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Brain you know very little about the middle east. Corruption is expected here.
  9. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    I don't care if it is expected when soldiers are getting sick or killed because of the lack of competence by contractors. I really don't care much if the iraqis get screwed by the contrasters...it is a different story when it hurts OUR troops. I figured you would be a little more up in arms about that as well.
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I am just jaded. But here in the middle east they totally do not understand why business has to be honest. So for Iraqi's to be upset about contractor corruption is just out of the question.

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