Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The War in Iraq - Our Friends the French

The Belmont Club has a round-up of stories on the French journalists taken hostage in Iraq, as well as some cogent analysis:
If the French are not seeking to pay monetary or some other type of ransom to obtain the release of the two Frenchmen kidnapped by Iraqi terrorists nothing in their actions of the past few days makes sense...But the descent of so many French diplomats on Middle Eastern capitals suggests it is trying to cut a political deal with the terrorists and their backers. Since France has ruled out rescinding the headscarf ban to preserve the appearance of amour propre, the obvious alterntive is to make someone else make concessions. That someone will probably be Iraq.
The French have supposed that their opposition to the war would insulate them ("The Muslim Brotherhood demands that the two French journalists kidnapped in Iraq be freed, especially as there is no proof of their involvement in any activity against law and order, but rather they were participating in exposing the occupation and its practices,") but it won't. They would be well served to heed the advice of Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi:
"None of the civilized countries can escape," he said, noting "there is no possible neutrality, as shows the kidnapping of the French journalists." "The French deluded themselves if they would hope to stay outside,"