"Lafayette, we are outta here!"
My wife is a French teacher, so I'll try to keep the lid on. Lunging forward...
Someone please remind me why tolerate these clowns, humoring them in their pretensions to international relevance. If there are a more duplicitous bunch of scheming crapweasels on the world stage, I haven't heard of them. France's record in the military/diplomatic arena since 1815 has been one of consistent miscalculation, a demonstration of preening arrogance wedded to boggling ineptitude. It is a litany of failure unmatched by any of the other major powers during the past two centuries, a history of never being both right and effective on a major international issue. Consider this list: Waterloo, the Franco-Prussian War, the First World War, the Spanish Civil War, appeasement of the totalitarians, the six-week collapse in 1940, Vietnam, the Suez, Algeria, withdrawal from NATO, the building of the Osirak reactor, the arming of various oppressive Arab regimes--you get my point. The only trust the French inspire is a firm faith that something is going to be screwed up beyond all recognition.
Now, in a strategy that reeks of "and maybe the horse will learn to sing," the French government wants to reform Saddam Hussein. Get him all gussied up with a real parliament and everything. In other words, we have a rabid wolverine on a fraying leash, and Chirac thinks the best solution is to send him to obedience school. During which time the Iraqis will allow the genially clueless UN weapons inspector/pushover Hans "Clouseau" Blix to inspect all of the pit toilets he wants.
Hoo, boy. In addition to being strong circumstantial evidence that they've started adding antifreeze to the champagne, it's also completely reckless. The only thing this will do is give Hussein the margin he needs to finish work on his bomb.
What's even more telling is that it is another example of a naive, arrogant Western politician who thinks he "knows" and "has an understanding" with a dictator. We've seen this before: Chamberlain at Munich, FDR with "Uncle Joe." In reality, Chirac knows squat about how to "handle" Hussein, and will do no better. He should be cut off at the knees for his pains.
Before we lose a city.