British angry with the French

LONDON (March 13) - The dispute between Britain and France over disarming Saddam Hussein exploded into open hostility Thursday, as furious British officials accused the French of all but ensuring there will be a war.

In shockingly blunt language for allies, British officials assailed their French counterparts for blocking efforts to set a deadline for Iraq to disarm. Britain accused France of rejecting its proposal without considering it.

``What I find extraordinary (is) that without even proper consideration the French government have decided that they will reject these proposals,'' said British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Iain Duncan Smith, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, emerged from a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair to say war appeared likely because of France.

``He (Blair) made the reason for this as the fact that the French have become completely intransigent,'' he told journalists.

The attacks reflected Britain's anger with what it sees as a cynical French ploy aimed at creating a French-led counterweight to the United States in world affairs.

British officials contend privately that French President Jacque Chirac is also intent on preserving traditional lucrative commercial ties with Iraq, which he helped build in the 1970s.

The French deny it. They say their aim is peace, and French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin insisted Thursday that Paris wanted to work for consensus in the Security Council.

``Everything should be done to preserve the unity of the council, and that is what we are working toward,'' he said.

British officials were angry after de Villepin rejected a British proposal for a U.N. resolution outlining steps Saddam would have to follow to prove he was scrapping his weapons of mass destruction. Paris says Iraq can be disarmed peacefully and claims Britain and the United States just want a new U.N. resolution to launch a war.

``We cannot accept the British proposals insofar as they are part of a logic of war, a logic of automatic recourse to war,'' de Villepin said.

Britain, which is deeply divided over war with Iraq, appeared relieved to turn to bashing its traditional European rival. Anglo-French enmity stretches back centuries and belittling the French is a passionate British pastime, fully reciprocated by many French.

British newspapers joined in the attack Thursday, blasting the French as untrustworthy and selfish.

The Sun tabloid attacked France with a front-page headline saying, ``Blair Buries Le Worm,'' its nickname for Chirac.

Some British officials predicted privately that public anger at the French could boost support for Blair, who faces strong opposition inside his Labor Party over his determination to back the United States even if it means attacking Iraq without U.N. approval. Most Britons don't want a war without U.N. approval, polls show.

Blair was increasingly resigned to war, said officials, although diplomatic efforts would continue for a few more days. The White House said Thursday it might agree to a brief delay of a U.N. vote to help secure an agreement.

The British anger with France is reflected in Washington, where U.S. officials have said Paris' threat to use its veto no matter what had sent the wrong message to Saddam.

British frustration and anger with France has been building for weeks.

Straw, normally noted for quiet courtesy, seemed to mock his French counterpart during a recent U.N. Security Council debate, ironically referring to him as ``my friend Dominique'' as de Villepin scowled.

03/13/03 14:44 EST

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

"Ulairi" wrote:
British officials contend privately that French President Jacque Chirac is also intent on preserving traditional lucrative commercial ties with Iraq, which he helped build in the 1970s.

The French deny it. They say their aim is peace

How can they deny that about 1/3rd of Iraq''s military arsenal is from French manufacturers? Or that France is Iraq''s #1 source for imports despite sanctions and embargoes? Jacque Iraq is using his country''s underseved veto in the UN to protect his ass and is capitalizing on the legitimate peace movement for his own financial interests. France sickens me right now.

I''ve never been so fond of Tony Blair. I want him to secede and take over the White House.

Damn French.

Did anyone think, when talk of war with Iraq first started, that it would turn into the convoluted mess it''s become?

British angry with the French
Wow, that''s news?

You missed the open hostility part.

Lol!

I wonder if, in all this insanity, we would get any press if we printed signs and t-shirts with the slogan:

Blair in 2004, Blair for President or Vote Blair 2004

Hah! start a campaign to add him on the ballot or as a write-in.

The Brits have a right to be unhappy. I hope they realize they dont want to let a good thing go.

Did anyone think, when talk of war with Iraq first started, that it would turn into the convoluted mess it''s become?

I certainly didn''t. I thought France would at least do what they did during Gulf War I and talk about their ""great shame"" in supplying Iraq with weapons.

Now that the stated goal is ""regime change"" I''m sure they see all their money that Iraq owes them being flushed down a huge toilet stamped, ''Made in USA.'' Ditto Russia and China. I read a great independant strategic analysis of Iraq''s military disposition including equipment, disposition, and troops. The vast majority of their new equipment is indeed French AMX''s, Mirages, Russian tanks, Chinese assault rifles, etc. It''s about the money folks.

Do I support the war? Well... I believe everyone should have the chance to live in a country truly free of a dictatorship. If the Arab League could kick his ass out, I''d be all for it. I don''t think a war is inevitable, but it may happen anyway.
Regardless of the circumstances, we need to support American and Allied troops.

Oh... My quote is from Hardball. Kissinger came off as kind of nutty but this line is just hilarious, IMO.

The unfortunate downside is unless the war ends very quickly and with few casualties to coalition troops Tony Blair will find himself out of a job very quickly. Even before the whole Iraq affair started, Blair''s popularity was on the slide due to the party becoming (and enacting poilicies) like a ""conservative party MK2"" and moving away from traditional labour left wing values.

Most european premieres or prime ministers are pretty much comfortable and of the same opinion as their populace with the exception of Spain and Britain who support the war,(Tellingly, these two nations are also the two european nations to have suffered at the hands of terrorists the most. Britain with the IRA and Spain with ETA.) it''s the leaders of these nations who may well find themselves out of a job for doing what they see as ""morally right"".

IMAGE(http://home.twcny.rr.com/cod324th/web%20pages/images/Normandy.gif)

Got an email with the above image titled:
""10,943 REASONS WHY FRANCE SHOULD SUPPORT US""

It continued to say and I quote:

NORMANDY BEACH, French Coast. Guess who''s buried there and guess what everyone of those people were doing for France? Maybe we need new friends.

I''m sure you''ll see the email...it''s making the ""rounds""

Regardless of the circumstances, we need to support American and Allied troops.

Damn right Fuzzy. I feel regardless of wether or not you support the war I hope you support the guys that have to fight it.

EDIT: Sorry should say ""Damn Right Reaper81"" also sorry to Fuzzy, I''m so damn used to I.D''ing everyone from their avatars!

You know Normandy, France doesnt mean they have to follow us around like a lap dog for the next eon.

That was the whole point wasnt it? Stop Hitler and let the invaded countries become sovereign again.

Stability does not equal cloning the US all over the world. We tried that in the cold war. Look at the mess we will continue to pay for a long time from that. Maybe France should learn from the mistakes made by the Russians and US during that time. Alterior and underhanded motives can haunt you and cause decades of backlash. Of course you also get into situations where the question is raised, "" Who''s more the fool? The fool or the fool who believes him?""

France does owe us (the world) an extended leash on a refrain from underhanded tactics.