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Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Major Ralph Peters, U.S. Army (Ret.)--Part II.

That was Monday. He took a day to reload. Today, the Major MOABs the French:

Thanks to Jacques Chirac, Saddam Hussein and his generals now see hope where there is none. At least some of those who would have surrendered readily will now fight. Saddam will pull every possible trick to excite world opinion against the United States, including staged atrocities. And our troops will have to kill men who otherwise would have surrendered. Some of our own fighting men and women will die in the process, all because France has led the Iraqi regime down the garden path.

Of course, France will abandon Saddam in the end. But we must make no mistake about French culpability for the ultimate casualty figures. This is not a mere diplomatic tiff. At the highest levels of government, the French know what they are doing, at least tactically (their strategy is a dangerous, pathetic muddle). We cannot allow a French betrayal in so important a matter to go unpunished. If there are no consequences for French complicity in the deaths of young Americans, there will be no future for American diplomacy in Europe.

* * *

The French would love to prevent the war in the Gulf, thus setting themselves up as the champions of tyrants everywhere and of Arab tyrants in particular. But Paris realizes there is really very little chance of deflecting Washington. So their essential goal is to complicate matters, to vilify America and to make the United States pay the highest possible price for any success it achieves, while remaining ready to capitalize on any American failures.

When the war in Iraq ends with a decisive American victory, Chirac will put on his little C'est la vie smile and insist that our differences were nothing but a disagreement between old friends, something one must expect in our complex world. Meanwhile, he and his closest advisers yearn for a bloody American defeat.

Nothing would please Chirac more than thousands of dead American soldiers inside the borders of Iraq, with Saddam alive and defiant. If this war goes badly, Chirac could have more American blood on his hands than does Osama bin Laden.

* * *
Readers may note that I have not even raised the issue of recent reports that French firms continued to help Iraq improve its armaments into the early weeks of this year. Although one of the many reasons the French do not want us in Baghdad is that they don't want us going through Iraqi archives and uncovering the extent of their complicity in Saddam's defiance of sanctions, the material aid French firms may have provided to Iraq is a trivial issue compared to the moral and diplomatic encouragement Paris has given Baghdad.

Ultimately, this grotesque resurgence of French "diplomacy" will fail. France is weak, ill-defended and hated in Africa and much of the Middle East with a quiet hatred that goes far deeper than the topical anti-Americanism so much in evidence. Nor will its attempts to glorify itself at America's expense provide France with any security. The terrorists will not reward France for its pandering; on the contrary, I expect we shall see a major terrorist strike in France this year. The French do not merely live in a bad neighborhood - the bad neighborhoods live within France. The French are bribing their executioners in the expectation of mercy.

We may hope - and pray - that the war against Iraq will be swift, with low casualties. But every American who dies in this war will have a French diplomatic bullet in his or her body.

The Major closes with this tagline identifying himself:

Ralph Peters has canceled his orders for 2000 Bordeaux. And he will cancel his support for the Bush administration if it does not punish France for its betrayal.

Amen and amen.

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