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By Geoff Metcalf

October 20, 2003

The French personify an arrogance that is only thinly replicated by Ivy League snobs and Hollywood glitter-nobility. However, the French are overdue for a reality assessment of their relevance or lack thereof.

In his September 12, 2002 speech to the UN General Assembly President Bush said, "Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?" Subsequently on February 9, 2003 he cautioned, "It's a moment of truth for the United Nations. The United Nations gets to decide shortly whether or not it is going to be relevant in terms of keeping the peace, whether or not its words mean anything."

Likewise, France, having squandered whatever global clout they may have once enjoyed, is frankly no longer relevant. The pretentious pontificating and chronic itching and moaning is sound and fury signifying nothing.

Long since having abandoned any pretense of being part of the solution, the French have inexorably become part of the problem.

France has not only been wrong but obstructionist and divisive on virtually all significant contemporary issues: Israel; Iraq; NATO; and the European Union.

French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin has been parroting the Jacque Chirac French Whine.

  • The US pursuit of forcible regime change is not a viable or safe policy in the dangerous world that exists after September 11th.

  • Any military action against Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons would be "absolutely ridiculous".

  • Despite Thursday's UN Security Council resolution giving the US-British force in Iraq a mandate, "the conditions for real progress on the reconstruction of Iraq are not complied with today".

  • "Reconstruction has to have a partner, you have to have real sovereignty in Iraq if you want to have the Iraqi people working with you."

Not being inclined to permit facts that contradict the preconceived opinions and prejudices, De Villepin declined to commit France to providing reconstruction assistance at next week's donors' conference in Madrid.

While stressing France's alleged desire to make nice with the US and to work with it on a range of international issues, the foreign minister also picked at the scab of Israel's US-backed security policies.

"I think that Israeli policy during the past months and years shows clearly that if you are going to imagine that only through security you are going to find solutions, you are mistaken... We think that using force, on the contrary, is going to... give new reasons to some people [like al-Qaida] to oppose us."

Yoh, Dom�guess what? Some people [like al-Qaida] don't need new reasons to oppose us. They HATE us�and yeah, YOU TOO. The deep-seated, unbridled antipathy terrorist Islamaists hold is not a 'reasoned' anything. It is visceral and inculcated from cradle to grave. You cannot reason, negotiate, or appease your way to an equitable resolution.

The forces that oppose us, do, and will lie, kill and�accept ANY concession or appeasement as a sign of weakness to be exploited. Remember your buddies in Nazi Germany? Did you read about Stalin?

The French 'vision' of a radically different approach to foreign policy De Villepin outlined includes differences of culture; society and religion should be weighed alongside questions of security.

"You have to be respectful of sovereignty.", he said. But it depends who is doing the disrespecting�like in Kosovo.

"So in rare situations, we have to address these kinds of problems by military means." DeVillepin said. His remarks underline the continuing differences between France, which led European opposition to the Iraq war, and Washington and London.

To the annoyance of the Bush administration, Britain, France and Germany have offered to supply civilian nuclear technology to Iran in return for its abandoning any ambition to seek nuclear weapons capability. Bullfeathers! And just how is old Europe going to stop Tehran from converting nuclear fuel into nuclear weapons? Can they say "North Korea"?

Geopolitical myopia being insufficient, Charles DeGaulle pretender Jacques Chirac has blocked the European Union from issuing a statement condemning Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who said recently "Jews rule the world by proxy."

EU leaders had considered issuing a statement that would have denounced Mahathir's remarks "false" and "offensive," but Chirac led a move to block any criticism. Apparently Chirac wants to save any denouncements and censure for the country that saved him from having to speak German.

France is an insignificant and incomplete shadow of itself. Like Avignon, after the Vatican moved back to Rome, the French are a sometimes-interesting historical anomaly.

Beyond the French proclivity for wanting to sell nuclear power plants to Iraq, Iran and other wannbe bad guys with deep pockets, they are as significant as a small yellow hole in a snow bank in North Dakota.

� 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site: While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  E-mail:






"The forces that oppose us, do, and will lie, kill and�accept ANY concession or appeasement as a sign of weakness to be exploited. Remember your buddies in Nazi Germany? Did you read about Stalin?"